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English Gardening Horticulture Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Queen (Danaus gilippus) Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Growing Swamp Milkweed in Containers or Raised Beds

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is a beautiful Native plant that’s not only visually appealing but also serves as a crucial host plant for Monarch butterflies. It requires a bit more water than other Milkweed species, making it perfect for raised beds or containers.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).

Growing it in containers or raised beds offers a flexible solution for gardeners with limited space or those wanting to control soil quality. Here’s a guide to successfully cultivating Swamp Milkweed in such settings.

Most Milkweed species benefit from raised bed and container gardening. Swamp Milkweed will not complain about trellissing and support, either.

1. Choosing the Right Container or Raised Bed:

  • Size: Swamp Milkweed can grow up to 3-5 feet tall. Ensure your container is at least 12-18 inches deep to accommodate the plant’s root system.
  • Drainage: Ensure the container or bed has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
Galvanized steel tubs make great containers, just be sure to drill some drain holes in the bottom.

2. Selecting the Soil:

  • Soil Type: Opt for well-draining soil. While Swamp Milkweed naturally grows in wet conditions, it doesn’t like to be waterlogged.
  • pH Level: Aim for a pH level between 6.0 to 7.5. Regular garden soil mixed with some compost should suffice.
Any soil is fine, but a soil with “Moisture Control” drains well and retains moisture which is perfect for Swamp Milkweed.

3. Planting:

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