February 18, 2016

Blood Flower

Like its perennial cousin butterflyweed, bloodflower is one of the best plants to attract butterflies. Monarch larvae love to feast on the leaves, and other butterflies that sip its nectar. A drought-tolerant plant, it's also called Indian root and swallow-wort. It's perfect for planting in sunny naturalistic or wildlife gardens. In midsummer, it covers itself with gorgeous flowers in oranges, reds, and yellows on tall stems. Plant it in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Be careful of the milky sap, which can irritate skin. While it's grown as an annual in most areas, it is a perennial in the tropics.

genus name
  • Asclepias curassavica
light
  • Sun
plant type
height
  • 1 to 3 feet
width
  • 1-2 feet wide
flower color
foliage color
season features
problem solvers
zones
  • 10,
  • 11
propagation

More varieties for Blood flower

'Silky Yellow' blood flower

Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Yellow' bears all-yellow flowers on 3-foot-tall stems.

Plant Blood flower with

It's amazing that the tall, dramatic spider flower is only an annual. Once temperatures warm up, it zooms to 4 feet or more plants very quickly and produces large balls of flowers with fascinating long seedpods that whirl out from it. Cut it for vases, but be aware that the flowers shatter easily after a few days. It typically self-seeds prolifically, so you only have to plant it once. Because it develops surprisingly large thorns, it's best to keep spider flower away from walkways.Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Cleome does best in moderately rich, well-drained soil. Be careful about fertilizing or you'll have extremely tall floppy plants. Group in clusters of 6 or more for best effect.

There are few gardens that don't have at least one salvia growing in them. Whether you have sun or shade, a dry garden or lots of rainfall, there's an annual salvia that you'll find indispensable. All attract hummingbirds, especially the red ones, and are great picks for hot, dry sites where you want tons of color all season. Most salvias don't like cool weather, so plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.

Want fast color for just pennies? Plant zinnias! A packet of seeds will fill an area with gorgeous flowers in an amazing array of shapes and colors -- even green! And it will happen in just weeks. There are dwarf types of zinnias, tall types, quill-leaf cactus types, spider types, multicolor, special seed blends for cutting, special blends for attracting butterflies, and more.Zinnias are so highly attractive to butterflies that you can count on having these fluttering guests dining in your garden every afternoon. But to attract the most, plant lots of tall, red or hot pink zinnias in a large patch. 'Big Red' is especially nice for this, and the flowers are outstanding, excellent for cutting. Zinnias grow quickly from seed sown right in the ground and do best in full sun with dry to well-drained soil.

tips for choosing and caring for annuals

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