Crop Culture Report: Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ By Jennifer Hatalski

This beautifully unique variety performs well in the landscape or containers and will inspire gardeners to get involved in butterfly gardening!

This very special Asclepias curassavica has beautiful green and white variegated foliage that is tinged with red, orange and pink leaf tips. The bright orange-red flower attracts Monarch butterflies and many other species of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

This variety is great to use in the landscape or in container gardens to bring life to your patio, not only for its amazing color but to attract butterflies.

This plant is a very important introduction for Hort Couture, and we hope to raise awareness about Monarch butterflies and inspire consumers to get involved in butterfly gardening!

‘Monarch Promise’ is a tropical milkweed, so it grows best in warmer temperatures. It was found by a butterfly breeder in Florida because she used it on her farm for its food source for her Monarch caterpillars. We have been working on this plant for quite a few years and are very excited to exclusively bring it to market for the independent garden center channel.

Temperature/Light

‘Monarch Promise’ is tolerant of high light levels; use shade primarily to help control temperature. Long days are recommended for flowering response. Day temperature should range between 75-85° F with night temperatures between 68-75° F.

Pinching

Pinching is recommended at transplant or shortly thereafter to two to three nodes to promote breaking. Additional pinches are not recommended or advised.

Moisture

This asclepias is fairly tolerant of a wide range of moistures, however moderate moisture is recommended. ‘Monarch Promise’ is tolerant of drying, but do avoid prolonged dry conditions.

Plant Growth Regulator

None is recommended. Since this asclepias loves warmer temperatures you will not have to worry about it getting away from you in early spring. ‘Monarch Promise’ is 24-30 inches tall and has a 12-15 inch spread.

Media and pH Requirements

The optimal EC is 0.6-1.2 and pH should be kept within 5.5-6.5.

Fertilizer Rates

This asclepias is an average fertilizer user that responds well to ammonium feed. Use a balanced fertilizer at 100- to 200-ppm nitrogen. It is slow to start but responds well to fertilization.

Disease Insects and Pests

‘Monarch Promise’ has no significant disease issues. It will attract thrips and aphids.



Jennifer Hatalski

Jennifer Hatalski is marketing and sales manager for Hort Couture Plants and can be reached at [email protected]



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