Plant Highlights: Asclepias

Butterfly Asclepias.pngCommon Name: Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed

Botanical Name: Asclepias (incarnata, tuberosa)

Sizes Available: 12 count Quart flats and Gallons

Season of Interest: Spring and Summer




It is finally Pollinator Week 2017! Yippy! The time is now to think about pollination planting and all the critters that make life for us possible. Did you know about 75% of plant species need the help of animals and insects to move pollen for fertilization? An estimated 1/3 of foods and beverages are made possible by pollinators.

While Honeybees are the superstars of Pollination, there are so many other beneficial animals that will, hopefully, continue to pollinate our environments. If you see these creatures, make sure to be friendly:

  • Ants
  • Beetles
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Bats
  • Various species of Bees
  • Flies
  • Various birds, including Hummingbirds
  • Some small mammals

How can you entice these little friends into your space? By planting pollinator, and native species in your landscapes. There is one guaranteed way to attract various species to your garden, and that is to plant some Asclepias! Multiple variations on this herbaceous perennial are perfect for attracting winged friends, and for bringing bright colors into your space. Plantworks Nursery carries the following varieties:

  • Asclepias Tuberosa (milkweed)- Orange (Traditional) and “Hello Yellow”
  • Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)- Milkmaid, Cinderella, and Ice Ballet

While we have grown Asclepias incarnata for a number of years, 2017 will be the first time we have Tuberosa available. This has been great news to our friends who have been begging us for this brightly colored, pollinator attractor. (Also, being named the Perennial Plant of the Year 2017 doesn’t hurt any plants cause!) These native plants are right at home in North Carolina, and will fit perfectly into almost any planting project. Non invasive and easy to manage, they are practically a perfect perennial.

Here are some brief points to know about both:

Tuberosa- Milkweed- Butterfly Weed

Grows to around 1-3 feet tall. Clustered orange or yellow flowers from early Summer into the Fall season. Lanceolate leaves. Prefers dry, sandy, or gravel soil. They need full sun to thrive. Butterflies love this plant because of the colors and the mass amount of nectar it provides. The major pollinator point to remember is that this plant is the larval host for the Monarch butterfly. Common names include “Butterfly weed,” “Indian Paintbrush,” and “Orange Milkweed.” Best propagated through seed, and most commonly found in fields.

Incarnata- Swamp Milkweed

Herbaceous, perennial native to North America. Prefers damp to wet soils, with good drainage. Like most Milkweeds, it produces a toxic sap that repels herbivorous animals and infectious insects, leaving room to attract pollinators of all types. Upright, growing to around 59 inches in height with fleshly white roots. The blooms emerge in late Spring. Pink/mauve, or white, colored blooms in summer. Full sun is needed for best performance. Found naturally growing by stems, lakes, and low-lying areas. This type of Asclepias is also a Monarch butterfly host.

So, make sure to consider the bees and butterflies all year around, but especially this week in particular while we celebrate their contributions to our lives. Tune into the little things around you that make life amazing, and realize we are all a part of an interlocking machine that works together to move forward. Yay Pollination!

*All plant highlights reflect plants grown by Plantworks Nursery. If you are interested in availability, please contact us for information. ( or 919-732-6594)

Perennials for Pollinators

Perennials for Pollinators

The Spring season has rushed right past us!

While we have been busy supplying the east coast with beautiful Annuals, the Perennials are just beginning to hit their stride. June is the official month of Perennials as acknowledged by the Perennial Plant Association, and this is the time to prepare for long lasting color and interesting shapes to fill any space!

Not only is June perennial month, but also it is the time for Pollinator week. What is Pollinator week, you may ask? Taken straight from the National Pollinator Partnership website:

“Ten years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 19-25, 2017 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior.”

As you can tell, June is the month for consideration planting for various reasons. Planting perennials in your space encourages wildlife and long lived landscapes, and planting for pollinators is essential to the survival of the ecosystem. Being aware of native perennial plants for your area, and planting those,  also greatly enhances the health of your landscapes and gardens. Plantworks Nursery has an extensive selection of Perennials that are pollinator friendly, and native to our Zone 7B. We can help you encourage pollination and healthy landscapes all throughout the year, just give us a call!

In addition to our tried and true plant varieties, as of Spring 2017, we will be growing Asclepias Tuberosa, winner of the Perennial Plant of the Year award for 2017. What makes this plant in particular worth mentioning? It is a larval host for the Monarch butterfly, and it is the only food source for them to survive. Planting Butterfly weed, Swamp Milkweed, or any variation of the species is sure to promote butterfly life, and give you a fantastic show of hummingbirds, bees, and other happy creatures when in bloom. Plantworks Nursery also carries many other great Perennials that will enhance your landscape or retail shelf. Some of these are included in the following list, but there are so much more!

  • Achillea- Yarrow
  • Agastache-Mexican Hyssop
  • Astilbe
  • Baptisia- False Indigo
  • Campanula
  • Ceratostigma- Plumbago, Leadwort
  • Chrysogonum- Green n Gold
  • Coreopsis- Tickseed
  • Dianthus- Garden Pinks
  • Dicentra
  • Digitalis- Foxglove
  • Echinacea- Coneflower
  • Eupatorium- Joe Pye Weed
  • Gaillardia- Blanket Flower
  • Geranium- Hardy
  • Leucanthemum- Shasta Daisy
  • Lobelia- Cardinal Flower
  • Monarda- Bee Balm
  • Nepeta- Catmint
  • Penstemon- Beard Tongue
  • Peony
  • Phlox- Paniculata and Subulata
  • Platycodon- Balloon Flower
  • Pycnanthemum muticum- Mountain Mint (New 2017)
  • Rudbeckia- Black Eyed Susan
  • Salvia- Garden Sage
  • Solidago- Goldenrod
  • Spigelia marilandica- Indian Pinks
  • Verbena- Vervain
  • Veronica- Speedwell

Please contact us all throughout the month of June for price discounts on certain perennials for pollinators. We are ready for warmer days!

Happy Planting!

Grower Picks March 20th, 2017

They keep coming…Grower Picks! Warmer weather is on the horizon, and the plants are ready for it. Each section of the Nursery has chosen a few exceptional looking items to spotlight for our clients. These items are highlighted on our weekly availability in grey for easy identification. The following pictures are current and accurate as to plant quality. Please contact us with any questions on pricing or availability.

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Happy Planting!

Grower Picks March 13th, 2017

Ready for more Grower Picks? These plants are looking amazing right now, and are ready for a new home! Each section of the Nursery has chosen a few exceptional looking items to spotlight for our clients. These items are highlighted on our weekly availability in grey for easy identification. The following pictures are current and accurate as to plant quality. Please contact us with any questions on pricing or availability.

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Happy Planting!

Plant Highlights: Autumn Fern


Sizes Available: 2.5″ 32ct flats. Quart 12ct flats. Individual Gallons

Season of Interest: Evergreen. Young fronds emerge coppery, and mature to green.

It makes sense for our first Fern highlight to be a popular item, and everyone seems to love the Autumn fern! (Also known as Japanese Wood Fern, Copper Shield Fern, or Japanese Shield Fern.) The Autumn fern is a favorite among many for its hardiness, and beautiful color change from copper colored young fronds, to a rich green with maturity. Native to Japan, China, and Taiwan; this fern amazes in the Southern landscape. Shade loving, this low spreading, frilly fern mimics a groundcover in its growing habit. It is more tolerant of dry soils, and more drought tolerant than other varieties; but still performs better in a shady spot with regular watering. In our Zone 7B, this fern is considered evergreen. Topping out at about 2 feet tall, this smaller fern is perfect for mass plantings or edging jobs. It can also be brought indoors to brighten up your living space.

*All plant highlights reflect plants grown by Plantworks Nursery. If you are interested in availability, please contact us for information. ( or 919-732-6594)

Plant Highlights: Daylily


Botanical Name: Hemerocallis

Sizes Available: Gallons and 12 count Quart flats

Season of Interest: All year (blooming Spring-Autumn)



Spring is beginning to give us a few breaths of warm air, and it has certain early bloomers waking up. Buds are appearing around the nursery, and new growth on so much more. The tiny green heads of the Daylily are beginning to arise. An old-fashioned favorite. Blooms in every conceivable color combination. Beautiful foliage. Fragrant. Easy to care for, with great success even for beginner gardeners. This is what the Daylily brings to the landscape.

A best friend to the Southern planter, the Daylily is a staple across the US. This amazing plant is in the running for everyone’s garden favorite due to all of it’s wonderful qualities. Daylilies have a very long bloom window (typically 3-4 weeks, with new flowers everyday), which makes them perfect for display areas. Daylily use is so prolific, that there is special vocabulary in place to help gardeners and landscapers alike choose the best plant for their environment. Information on the plant abounds! Plantworks Nursery grows so many different varieties we couldn’t begin to cover them all in this post. They all deserve recognition, and so we will post more about each at a later date.

One of our most requested Daylilies is Stella de’Oro (pictured above). The 2 inch golden blooms can number in the hundreds on a mature plant, and are very fragrant. If spent flower stalks are removed, this variety will continue to bloom into the Autumn season. Very hardy in our Zone 7B. As far as popularity goes, Stella is above and beyond the rest.

*All plant highlights reflect plants grown by Plantworks Nursery. If you are interested in availability, please contact us for information. ( or 919-732-6594) 

Plants of the Month: February 2017

Plantworks Nursery features a special plant(s) each month for discounted pricing. These are NOT plants that are past shelf life, or overstock. They are buds and blooming material, that are ready for retail sales, or planting. We strive to get material to the public that is in perfect, planting condition.


February Plants of the Month are as follows:

poppy-gallon-pomPoppy “Crimson Red”: Gallon size discounted. ($3.73)

Even though temperatures are still cool, the Poppies are blooming! Bring a splash of color to your otherwise grey, Winter landscape with Poppy “Crimson Red.” These brilliant, red blooms grow to around 30-36″, standing tall and regal in the garden. Gardeners everywhere are starting to get ready for Spring, and the  Poppy is a great way to bring in the warmer weather. In addition to having a stunning bloom, the Poppy is deer resistant and sun tolerant, handling the sunniest spots in the landscape. Plantworks only offers Poppies in the Spring, so contact us now to get yours before it is too late.



gaillardia-qt-pomGaillardia Mesa Bi-color Bright: 12ct Quart size flat discounted. ($25.75)

The Gaillardia Mesa series offers several colors of blooms on well structured plants, resulting in a tighter habit in the landscape. Mesa Bi-color is a lovely, bright yellow with a red center bloom, channeling the classical look of Gaillardia, and growing to around 12-16″ in height. Perfect for cut flower bouquets, and loved by butterflies in the garden. Gaillardia are very long blooming, and are perfect for summertime displays of color. Also very drought and heat tolerant once established. This plant is truly amazing for the landscape in almost any native climate.


Please contact us for any information on these plants, or how to purchase them for your planting job. Pricing specials run from Feb. 1st- Feb. 28th. (

Happy Planting!