Plants You Are Potting – Desert Milkweed & Blue Mist

Desert Milkweed, Asclepias subulata

Is an upright perennial native to the deserts of the Southwest and Mexico to 4ft tall and wide and grows in washes and on rocky slopes. Tall gray-green stems form a crown of creamy yellow flowers from spring to fall with seed pods to follow.

Adult Monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, use the nectar in milkweed flowers for food, and lay their eggs on the plants. Their caterpillars eat ONLY milkweed plants.

It is drought, cold and poor soil tolerant and a slow-grower. Happiest in full sun, this plant needs regular water to establish itself and will then be drought tolerant. Tiny leaves appear after rainfall and fall off soon after. This plant photosynthesizes through its stems.

It is named after the ancient Greek god of medicine, Asclepios.

Native Milkweeds are critical to the survival of our Monarch Butterflies. The Monarch’s cousin the Queen Butterfly, Danaus gilippus also uses Milkweed as a host plant for food and laying eggs.

And don’t forget the native bees can gather its nectar too!

Blue Mist Flower, Ageratum corymbosum

Is a fast-growing mounding perennial to 3 ft tall and wide. It has showy furry lavender flowers on green-leaved stems. Needs some shade and is not drought tolerant in our desert. Blue Mist is cold tolerant and can take pruning prior to new growth in Spring. Native to New Mexico and Mexico. Blue Mist is a popular nectar source for both Monarch and Queen butterflies.