The milkweed: weed or ornamental plant?

The milkweed: weed or ornamental plant?


  • Annual, shallow-rooted herb
  • Growth height: 10 to 35 centimeters
  • Stem: Fleshy with mostly only two opposite side branches
  • Leaves: Smooth-edged, round, short stem, strong green
  • Flower: Green-yellow with five-pointed umbel
  • Flowering period: April - November
  • Location: sunny to partially shaded
  • Substrate: Preference is given to soils rich in humus and nutrients
  • Germination time: all year round, as soon as the temperatures are high enough

If the plant is damaged, a sticky, slightly corrosive juice will flow out.

also read

  • The cypress milkweed - a profile
  • Weeds or flowers: what is growing in my garden?
  • Killing weeds with salt: a good alternative or prohibited?

The hoe helps

The sun milkweed hardly suppresses other ornamental plants, so that control is only necessary if the plant grows too expansive. Seed weeds such as milkweed can also be weakened so much by regular chopping of the bed that they do not spread in the first place.

Since the milkweed is one of the shallow roots, you can simply weed the perennial mechanically.

If you cultivate garden milkweed in a targeted manner, it is important to prevent seed production. So cut off the flowers before the seeds have fully developed. This prevents you from suddenly finding sprawling milkweed plants in garden corners or the cracks in the pavement slabs.

Insect pasture and medicinal plant

Please note that milkweed plants nourish beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps (€ 14.59 on Amazon *) which in turn decimate the aphids in your garden. So it is definitely worth giving the pretty perennials a place in the garden.

In naturopathy, the corrosive plant juice is used to combat warts and corns. However, you should better leave the targeted application to a specialist.


All euphorbia species are poisonous. Since contact with the milky sap can lead to painful swellings, reddening of the skin and allergic reactions, you should absolutely wear gloves when working on the plant.