Asclepias variegata -- culture?

Submitted by externmed on Sat, 02/25/2012 - 15:39

Aesclepias variegata (photo:)

This very pretty dry woodland milkweed is native as far north as Connecticut USA; but is very seldom offered for sale. It's been suggested that it might be marginally hardy in the north, but may vary with source? Senica Hills did offer, but mine in a cool partially shady spot, did not make it through the first winter.

Apparently it's a difficult plant to cultivate.

Any success stories out there?

Charles Swanson MA USA


Submitted by Tim Ingram on Sun, 02/26/2012 - 01:57

I can't report success stories here in the UK but am trying this and quite a few other asclepias from seed. They are thoroughly fascinating plants. We grow a number of the larger species, and if some of the smaller dryland types come from seed I intend to try them out on sand and gravel beds. I would also be greatly interested in other growers experiences.

Submitted by Afloden on Tue, 02/28/2012 - 06:01

Some of Ellen's material was propagated from seed I collected. Asclepias variegata is fully cold hardy, but what it wants in the garden is a mystery to me. I have flowered it, but the plants never last long term. Most of the time I kill seedlings and young plants with ease. Another one I wish was easier is quadrifolia. Like variegata it is a woodland or shaded roadside edge plant where I live (in E Tennessee). Both must get fairly dry in the summer with variegata in the more dry free draining sites. I do fine with the prairie species and exaltata. Keep trying is what I would suggest. It is beautiful.