Planting Instructions

Thank you for purchasing your native pollinator plants! The following planting instructions can help insure a happy and successful plant.

Root Pouch Growing Bags

If your plant came in a fabric Root Pouch brand growing bag, The Milkweed Patch recommends that your plant be removed from it before planting. Dig a hole twice as large as the pot and water the hole well. It’s easier to handle the plant if you allow it to dry out just a little before transplanting it. Cut the Root Pouch so the plant can be removed with minimal root disturbance, place the plant and its soil into the hole, and fill in with the soil you removed when digging the hole. Be sure the soil level from the pot matches the soil level of the ground. You don’t want the plant too deep or above ground. Water the plant and water it whenever it’s dry during the first year. There is no need to fertilize native plants and they do best without mulch around them.

Find out more about the Root Pouches we use on their website. https://rootpouch.com/products/thin-black

Milkweed

Your milkweed plant should have come with a plant marker with the scientific name. Not all milkweed needs the same growing conditions so please refer to the specific species information.

Asclepias exaltata (Poke milkweed)

One of the few milkweeds that thrives in shade. Plant in full to partial shade in medium-wet to medium-dry soil. Water when dry during first year, then during periods of long drought after. White to cream colored drooping flowers. This milkweed is great for a woodland edge. Up to 5’ tall.

Asclepias incarnata (“Swamp” milkweed, rose milkweed)

Plant in full sun, preferably, but will tolerate light shade. Prefers consistently moist soil but will still perform in average, dry to medium soils. Water when dry during first year, then during periods of long drought after. This milkweed forms a nice clump and is great for a traditional flower bed. Grows 36-48” tall.

Asclepias purpurascens (Purple milkweed)

Full to partial sun in average, well-drained soils. Water when dry during first year, even if the plant appears to have completely died, then during periods of long drought after. It can take 3 years or more for it to reach flowering size. Grows 18-36” tall.

Asclepias sullivantii (Sullivant’s milkweed, prairie milkweed)

Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soils. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Does well in a variety of soils. Grows 36-48” tall.

Asclepias syriaca (Common milkweed)

Plant in full sun in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Water when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Does well in a variety of soils. Flowers are very fragrant. Plant will spread by underground rhizome that can travel several feet from original plant to form a colony. Can be cut back to the ground after flowering to produce new growth although this practice usually results in no seed pods. Grows 3-5’ tall.

Asclepias tuberosa (“Butterfly milkweed”)

Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soils. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. This milkweed does not like wet feet, especially in winter. Does well in poor, dryish soils. This milkweed forms a nice clump and is great for a traditional flower bed, although may need to be replaced every few years. It has a long taproot and does not transplant well so plant it where you want it to stay. Grows 18-24” tall.

Asclepias verticillata (Whorled milkweed)

Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soils. It is best grown in poor, sandy, or rocky soil, where it will not be in competition with other taller species. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Plants will spread by rhizomes to form a colony but are not considered aggressive. Whorled blooms later in than season most other native milkweed, with fragrant creamy white blooms between July and September. Grows 12-24” tall.

Asclepias viridis (Green milkweed, spider milkweed)

Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soils. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Does well in a variety of soils. It is one of our earliest blooming species that flowers starting in mid-late May into mid-June. This milkweed forms a nice clump and is great for a traditional flower bed. It has a long taproot but may also spread slowly by underground rhizome. Grows 20-30” tall.

Cynanchum laeve (Milkweed vine, honeyvine)

Plant in full sun, preferably, but will tolerate significant shade. Prefers average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Water when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Does well in lots of locations but give it something to climb. Being a vine, it grows all summer and there is no limit to its length. Flowers are small but very fragrant. Seed pods will form that look just like other milkweed seed pods.

Other Flowering Plants

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lance-leaf coreopsis)

Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soils. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Does well in a variety of soils but excels in sandy soil. Early summer bloom time is at least a month and can be extended by deadheading. Birds enjoy the seeds in the fall. Grows 24” tall.

Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)

Plant in full to partial sun. Prefers consistently moist soil but will still perform in average soils. Sneezeweed does not cause allergies as its name might suggest. Long bloom time from August – September. Grows 3 – 5’ tall.

Liatris aspera (Rough blazing star)

Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soils. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Grows 24-36” tall, one of the shorter liatris.

Liatris ligulistylis (Meadow blazing star)

Plant in full to partial sun in average, well-drained soils. Water only when dry during first year; drought tolerant once established. Meadow blazing star is a magnet for migrating monarchs – have your camera ready! Grows 36-60” tall.

Oligoneuron rigidum (Stiff goldenrod)

Plant in full sun in moist to slightly dry conditions. This plant is not particular about soil. Water when dry during first year; drought resistant once established. There is a tendency to flop over during bloom in overly fertile soil or with too much water. Has deep fibrous roots, forming clumps, with a tendency to form offsets. The blooms are mildly fragrant and occur from late summer to fall, lasting about a month. Monarch butterflies are especially attracted to the flowers as they fuel-up for their fall migration. The foliage is susceptible to powdery mildew but is somewhat deer resistant. Goldenrods are insect pollinated; they have relatively large, sticky pollen grains that do not take flight with the wind, and therefore do not cause “hay fever”. Grows 24-60” tall.

Solidago odora (Fragrant goldenrod)

Plant in full to partial sun in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Water when dry during first year; drought resistant once established but benefits from watering during prolonged drought. The foliage is susceptible to powdery mildew. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early autumn and provides valuable nectar for migrating monarchs. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous; older plants may develop small woody caudices. Host plant for the Pearl crescent and Silvery checkerspot butterflies. Goldenrods are insect pollinated; they have relatively large, sticky pollen grains that do not take flight with the wind, and therefore do not cause “hay fever”. Grows to 36”.

Solidago rigidum (Stiff goldenrod)

Plant in full or partial sun in slightly moist to slight dry conditions. Stiff goldenrod has upright stems that host golden yellow flowers in the fall which provide valuable high-quality nectar for migrating monarchs. Clump-forming and not aggressive like some other species of goldenrod. This plant is easy to grow. Goldenrods are insect pollinated; they have relatively large, sticky pollen grains that do not take flight with the wind, and therefore do not cause “hay fever”. Grows to 4’.

Solidago speciosa (Showy goldenrod)

Plant in full or partial sun in slightly moist to slight dry conditions. As its common name suggests, this is one of the most showy goldenrods. It has upright stems that host foot-long rods of golden yellow flowers in the early fall. Clump-forming and not aggressive like some other species of goldenrod. This plant is easy to grow but can topple over if it is spoiled by excessive moisture or fertilizer. Goldenrods are insect pollinated; they have relatively large, sticky pollen grains that do not take flight with the wind, and therefore do not cause “hay fever”. Grows to 5’.

Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Blue Aster)

Plant in full to partial sun in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Water when dry during first year; drought resistant once established but benefits from watering during prolonged drought. The foliage is susceptible to powdery mildew. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early autumn and provides valuable nectar for migrating monarchs. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous; older plants may develop small woody caudices. Host plant for the Pearl crescent and Silvery checkerspot butterflies. Grows 18-30” tall.

Verbesina virginica (Frostweed)

Plant in full to partial shade in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Water when dry during first year; drought resistant once established but benefits from watering during prolonged drought. Frostweed gets its common name from its most unique feature – its ice ribbons. During the first hard freeze of the season, you may be able to see Frostweed’s stems break open and reveal beautiful ice formations. The dead stems have soaked up moisture from the soil during the late fall, and the trapped water forms ice crystals when the plant freezes during the first hard frost. Grows 36-60” tall.