Asclepias curassavica care

Asclepias curassavica

Caution when handling the milky sap can irritate the skin. All parts can cause stomach upset if ingested.

A tender, evergreen sub shrub from tropical regions of the Americas with bright red and orange flowers over a long period from summer-autumn. Loved by Bees and Butterflies and is a valuable food and egg laying source for members of the Danainae family of Butterflies especially the Monarch.

After the flowers long green seed pods appear which, when ripe will split open to reveal the seeds. These have fine silky “tails” which, in the wild, would be carried away by the wind. You can collect and sow the seed or just remove the pods if they are not wanted.

Grow in a loam based compost with added grit for drainage and feed monthly in summer with a high potash feed such as tomato food. This plant is not hardy and although it can be put outside for the summer it must be brought in well before any frosts are forecast. Please note an unheated greenhouse can freeze in winter and so is not a reliable place to overwinter tender plants.  

  • FLOWERING PERIOD: from June to November
  • EVENTUAL HEIGHT: 1 metre (3 feet).
  • HARDINESS: Tender: keep above freezing, can be grown outside in summer. NOT FROST HARDY: Minimum 1 ºC.
  • SOIL:  Loam based compost with added grit
  • WILDLIFE:  Butterflies, Bees,
  • USE OR PLANTING STYLE:  Butterfly House, Container/Pot,
  • POSITION:  Small Conservatory,
  • FEATURES:  Evergreen