Asclepias Variegata

Redring Milkweed for Monarch Caterpillars and Beneficial Pollinators

Asclepias variegata common name: Red-ring milkweed, Redring milkweed, White milkweed

Asclepias Variegata-Redring Milkweed Blooms
A Rare Beauty

Purple Milkweed Plant Specs

  • Perennial Zone: USDA hardiness zones 3a-9b (lows -40 °C or -40 °F)
  • Native Plants for: Eastern US and Ontario Canada (Al, Ar, Ct, DC, De, Fl, Ga, Il, In, Ky, La, Md, Ms, Mo, NJ, NY, NC, Oh, Ok, Pa, RI, SC, Tn, Tx, Va, WV, ON
  • Grows wild in meadows, prairie openings, ravine bottoms, roadsides, woodlands, and forest habitats
  • Plant full sun to part shade
  • Height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Spacing: 1 to 3 ft
  • Leaves are way compared to asclepias purpurascens (purple milkweed)
  • Flowers: white flowers with a vibrant red-purple ring at the base
  • Blooms late spring to early summer
  • Smooth seed pods and thin compared to common milkweed

Asclepias Variegata Pros

monarch eggs found on the underside of asclepias variegata milkweed leaves
  • host plant for monarch butterflies
  • copious amounts of nectar for pollinators
  • Not an aggressive spreader like its common counterpart
  • Fragrant flowers are popular with pollinators
  • showy flowers (with radiant red ring) are some of milkweed’s finest

Asclepias Variegata Cons

  • Difficult to find plants/seeds locally or online…get them when you have the opportunity!
  • Low Germination Rate compared to other milkweeds
  • Prone to aphid pests like most milkweeds
  • Fewer gardeners report growing this successfully, there is still more to learn about best growing practices
  • Rabbits have (frustratingly) favored this milkweed species in our garden, despite the bitter white sap of the foliage
  • Deer will also eat this species

Asclepias Variegata Plant Propagation

Redring Milkweed Growing Tips

  • Don’t rely on this to grow reliably (especially outside of native zones)
  • Our plants will receive morning/early afternoon sun, but get a shady reprieve from the sizzling afternoon sun.
  • Segregate redring from aggressive spreaders like common milkweed so your plants aren’t overcome by ravenous rhizomes.
  • Protect your plants! Since these seem more difficult to establish consider putting up a fence to keep away small critters. Rabbit fencing recommended
  • Seed Saver- to collect these rare seeds be sure to use organza bags if you want to collect redring milkweed seeds

Pollinator Plus

Besides the monarch butterfly, redring milkweed also attracts bumble bees, honey bees, butterflies, native bees, skippers, tussock moths host plant, wasps (we will be adding more specific species during the season…If you know of others, please comment below.)

Buy Asclepias Variegata Plants for Sale and Milkweed Seeds

Always purchase seeds and milkweed plants by the botanical (scientific) species name, Asclepias Variegata. Common names are sometimes used for multiple species of milkweed and sometimes even made up names from milkweed vendors:

1. Click to Asclepias Variegata Milkweed on Etsy

2. Purchase Redring Milkweed from eBay

Click here to Discover 30 Milkweed Options for your Butterfly Garden

Please post below if you have any questions or comments about growing Asclepias variegata in your butterfly garden.
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  1. Trying to find where to purchase Redring milkweed (Aslepias variegata) in Maryland – and can send that information to a butterfly gardener in Takoma Park, MD. Do you have any ideas?

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Edy, check both links at the bottom of this Asclepias variegata page to find seeds or rhizomes…plants are difficult to find this time of season.

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