S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Florida Native Milkweed / Pink Swamp Milkweed / Asclepias Incarnata
for the Northeast Florida Landscape
Pink Swamp Milkweed may just be my favorite of the readily available Florida native milkweed
varieties, it has hardy upright and vigorous foliage with a beautiful soft pink blooms in July.
A WORD ABOUT PESTICIDES ON MILKWEEDS
Grown as a larval plant for the Monarch, Queen and Soldier Butterfly , our butterfly plants are grown here on
site from seed, cuttings, or divisions and not treated with herbicides or pesticides. Making them
available without added chemical toxins to the newly hatched caterpillars as a food source also puts them on the
menu for other critters like Milkweed bugs and Aphids. In reality, you can’t have one without the other. Treating
them in any way for the removal of the aphids etc. would also harm caterpillars as well as remove or kill
the unhatched eggs laid on the plants by visiting Butterflies. We like to leave them be and allow natures
system of checks and balances to kick in to control pest populations. See Pesticides on Butterfly Plants for more information
Preferred Exposure for Florida Native Pink Swamp Milkweed / Asclepias incarnata:
– Prefers a bright full sun location but will still grow and bloom nicely in a
partially shaded garden location.
Foliage, Size and Growth Habit of the Florida Native Pink Swamp Milkweed /
Asclepias incarnata has opposite, narrow
lance shaped light green leaves that are approximately 7.5-15 cm in length and 1-4 cm wide.
Size when Mature:
It can grow to heights of 3 – 4 ft high
and 2-3 ft wide.
Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of Asclepias tuberosa:
– Pink Swamp Milkweed is not that particular about the soil that it is planted
into, providing it has consistant moisture or supplimental irrigation is provided. It will thrive when planted
into moist to wet soil areas found along creekbanks, ponds, wet ditches or low areas in Florida. They
are ideal for those areas of the landscpe that may hold excess moisture after rains like where a sidewalk slows
down the drainage away from a homes foundation, or near a downspout from the rain gutters or a low area
that water drians to or even just areas of heavier clay soils.
– Salt tolerance for Asclepias incarnata is poor.
– Moderate to fast growing plants, Florida Native Pink Swamp Milkweed can
be expected to reach its full height in the first or second growing season in the North Florida | Jacksonville |
St. Augustine area landscape.
– Soft pink blooms in summer that are recognizable by their typical
milkweed petal pattern and count. Asclepias incarnata will have clusters of flowers that each have 10
petals , 5 down and outward facing petals and 5 upward facing petals.
– Asclepias tuberosa will require supplemental watering when
first planted into the landscape from a container and will need supplimental waterings during
times of drought in the Northeast Florida landscape.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Native Milkweed will attract both butterflies and birds to your gardens
landscape including Hummingbirds! It is a larval food source for Monarch, Queen and Soldier Butterflies.
Butterflies and other pollinators feed on the nectar the flowers provide.
– Deer resistant perennial plant selection
Care of Asclepias incarnata / Pink Swamp Milkweed in the Northeast
Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape:
– Water every other day during the establishment period, once plants have resumed
growth in the landscape taper waterings back to just a weekly application during prolonged droughts or twice
weekly in dryer soil areas.
– Herbaceous perennial plant, but may be a bit slow to start in the spring, so
give them a bit of time to get growing again, they will be ful of foliage to feed the butterflies by summer and
blooming by at July.
– Fertilize each spring with a shovel full of good garden compost.
Click here for more information on
for the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape.