I had some old seeds (2011) and threw them in a couple winter sowing containers. I obviously have no annual milkweed seeds. We had rotting issues with the neoprene inserts. I moved three of them to leaves on the more mature plants so they won’t run out of food. yes, Mexican sunflowers grow quickly…the same thing happened to me a few years ago. I’ll only have room for2-3 little pots but can I plant them outside after May 31? I have found that these seeds are MUCH less work than natives as far as germinating! Why just one? I replaced the foam inserts that came with my bucket and used rockwool inserts because my cuttings were rotting in the foam. I am goong to plant the seeds outside tomorrow. help! The plants take a long time to form their wonderful seed capsules and I usually harvest from August on as they form. Plant in 2-3" inches of peat moss that is moist and well drained. That’s a good method to use if you aren’t sure of your seed quality. They’re presently in the refrigerator in cold stratification as I prepare peat pots and lights. Hope this helps…. May 2020 June 2019 Cold-treating your seeds causes better germination results in plants that are native to temperate climates, such as most types of milkweed. Since I have three cats that eat plants sowing milkweed in the house isn’t an option. How to Plant Milkweed Seeds Indoors Step 1: Place seeds in trays After 30-60 days, it’s time to plant your Milkweed seeds. Thanks! Tony since we are having a heat wave here in southern California…I have monarchs laying eggs and caterpillars hatching I have counted over 50 eggs and tiny caterpillars in my garden. Did your honeyvine milkweed do well by just soaking them? Is it possible to plant them, or should I just play Taps? They have numerous seeds and a stringy, silky floss inside of the pod. Is that a sensible option for attracting monarchs? I’m very excited, because last spring I tried germinating same, with terrible results. Hi Jenny, milkweed can come up all over the place if you just let it seed. Do I need seed starter? You purchased a cultivar of swamp milkweed. Plant your Milkweed Seeds. Thinking about trying this . I’ve checked, and no eggs, no caterpillars last year or so far this year. If they grow organically and offer milkweed, you can usually get plants at decent prices. You are my lifeline! I was told yes. So I’m ordering asclepias tuberosa, incarnata, curassavica, syriaca & speciosa. Hi Kim, the conditions are optimal for germination with the greenhouse effect of the lid, but some seeds should still sprout without it. Hi Tony, Last Last February I start a dozen honeyvine milkweeds (Cynanchum laeve) indoors to plant around a tree stump and was surprised when two of the milkweeds actually put out flowers and produced a couple of pods in the Fall. Each species has native and perennial regions listed: 25+ Milkweed species for Butterfly Gardens. You can plant your Milkweed outside after the danger of frost has passed. Then, gently push the soil mix back over your seeds. I’m trying the paper towel method for starting my tropical milkweed seeds & my family jewels milkweed seeds and so far the family jewels seeds have started their “tails” in 2 and 3 days! Hi Becky, I leave ours under until I bring them outside or in our porch that receives natural sunlight. Keep in mind some species like common will spread by underground rhizomes. Blue not red. Hi Frank, it’s not unusual for the first leaves to fall from the plant. Ranger Ted, Hi Ted! Thank you! Starting plants from seed is an inexpensive way to get a lot of plants and, even better, it is the best way to get exactly the variety of plant you want. The seed cells are generally just an inch or two wide which allows you to start many seeds in one tray. The plants bloomed beautifully and now I’m left with the dead plants. As for not discussing natives, this article is about ‘annual milkweeds’ so it was not my intent to discuss native milkweed here. Hi Henry, I start seeds indoors about 2 months before our final frost date. If you want to talk to gardeners with first-hand growing experience in your region, I would suggest a facebook group: Hello Tony This article may be of interest to other people in my area, this is what we have to contend with here in Arkansas, I am trying my best ,to help Monarchs and Ozark Swallow Tails. Bring them indoors? Add this performance enhancing trick for best results Don’t cut through the handle. We do know that A. curassavica carries a protozoan parasite called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). Most warm weather species don’t “get growing” until the temps trend tropical. They are so helpful. July 2020 I start my Hairy Balls from seed inside around mid-March to get a head start. Starting Seeds in … If a plant is infected with OE, so will the cutting. It's still a great time to plant milkweed. Tony , I live in Florida Where would I get milkweed seeds. My apartment is very small. May 4, 2020. Place 1-2 cold stratified seeds in each pot. I’m not sure what you’re planting, but I would probably stick with 2 species. When I buy milkweed seed packets, I plant the seeds directly from the package. Hi Roy, congrats! How you plant the seed? Just putting them in an unheated warehouse in Mn should do just fine. If the seed has a hard shell or coating gently sand one side of the seeds with a fingernail file or fine sandpaper. Be patient, older seeds may well take an extended period of time to germinate. Wondered if this is a normal occurrence/color for the leaves or is it an ailment? Thank you. If there’s a cool spring, your plants won’t have time to reach their full glory, or support monarchs, or produce seeds for future seasons! They are growing well, about 3” tall, but the bottom sets of leaves have turned a pinkish color, and a few of these leaves have fallen off. Hang in there and good luck. I am hoping that you do have other native Asclepia in your garden. Since some warm weather varieties (like tropical milkweed) flower their first year , starting them indoors can reap instant butterfly garden rewards. I have about 75 new milkweeds just coming out in pots, and more seeds planted, plus about 300 old milkweeds that are just putting out their new growth from being cut back for winter, so I think I’ll have enough for them to eat. Sometimes it seems an impossible mission however I’m going to try anyway. common, showy, autumn blaze, and butterfly weed will need cold stratification before planting: ‘Mexican’ is tropical milkweed and that is an annual or tender perennial for most regions: What is “autumn blaze”. November 2019 Keep that in mind if your carmine doesn’t work out. Very helpful, Tony. I live in Castro Valley, CA (below Oakland) and 2-1/2 yrs ago replaced lawn with CA native plants including balloon and common milkweed for Monarchs. At this point, you’ve still got plenty of time before the season. Hi Jeff, my milkweed page has 25 milkweed species listed and many of those listing have links that go to pages with even more info. You can plant them in seed trays, peat pots, small pots or any other container that allows for water drainage. I planted 3 different kinds but my tags have fallen out and I can’t tell which is which. Scoop the ...Step 2, Place the seeds 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) deep in … Thank you for your question. Next year I am going to try using a seed starting mixture that doesn’t have any fertilizer in it. In fall, once the infamous seed pods are popping open, revealing the fluff (coma) and seeds inside, it’s easy to identify. Hi Doris, you’d use a clone bucket to start cuttings to produce “clones” of your milkweed plant. sounds like quite a busy start to your season Bill. I have swamp milkweed and Showy and Mexican also. Start scouting fields and if pods appear slightly gray and are dried out they are ready to pick. To plant, I separate the brown seeds from the fuzzy fibers. My common mw is about 8″ tall and doing good in pots inside, just waiting to get in the flower bed. As for the calendar, that’s a tough one because you have many options for planting milkweed: fall sowing, winter sowing, starting seeds indoors, spring sowing. If it is difficult to keep these temperatures, use a seed starter heat mat to maintain proper temperatures. Is the process the same for perennial milkweed seeds? Once planted, lightly water, or mist with a spray bottle to dampen the soil. 3 of the 5 proceeds have sprouted. Tony, Thanks for your helpful article on starting milkweed seeds. March 2020 Bayer Company of Germany is trying to purchase Monsanto for 62 Billion. If you want to start the plants indoors, place seeds between moist paper towels inside a sealed plastic bag or plant the seeds directly into peat pots covered with a sealed plastic bag. Now the are tall & green, full of leaves. There is a lot of concern that it might be causing monarchs to break diapause and prolong their fall breeding, and we don’t know what the long-term consequences of that are or will be. I did not see any chrysalises or any butterflies, however. good luck! This would help me as I have 200 plants and they are getting old and it’s hard to buy plants now Thank you. I keep them … I’m in ohio zone 6 , so starting milkweed annuals here is a must. These issues are specific to those growing in the deep south and Southern California. Ripe pods will tend to be dry, gray or even brown. When start milkweed plant for inside? The main purpose of doing this is to soak the seed. I typically use the bucket in late fall to take cuttings from plants outdoors, but you could also a clone bucket if you took cuttings from tropical milkweed plants overwintering indoors. I plan to plant the seeds outside. Tony, thanks for the support specifically directed to me. Full sunlight? Hi Trish! I just read your article about starting annual milkweed seeds. Okay, it appears I crapped up on this one. When they reach about a foot high, it should be easier to tell them apart. If the leaves on seedlings are turning red under grow lights, you can decrease the hours of light they are receiving…good luck! So, I trimmed the 3 plants down to 4″ sticks. Every year I have at least a dozen of the wild milkweed in my yard, I never seem to get Monarchs. I have 25 already listed on my resource page and will be adding more as time allows. We typically get more eggs on the regular variety. Hi Christiane, most milkweed is supposed to be drought tolerant to an extent, but the California drought is an extreme circumstance so your best bet is to check with other gardeners in your region to see what is working best for them. Large seed pods open up and self seed readily, spreading this native wildflower’s seeds each season. Since tropical milkweed is a very popular milkweed with monarchs (especially during the migration) I have addressed precautions that gardeners can take to prevent these issues including: 1. cutting down plants to the ground in November/December, 2. potting tropical milkweed to use for raising instead, then cutting back and overwintering. Hi Jeff, that sounds like a nice patch of milkweed. I have 14 plants right now I started that have 2 sets of leaves, but we are still going through dogwood & blackberry winters here,so it’s too cold yet to put them out. Right now it is raining (thank God) but night are cold (30-40) So again conservation of water will be high. Fill the peat pots three-quarters to the top with potting soil. October 2019 Hi, Tony I started my MW in side just after Dec. 26 My tropical mw is now 17″ tall and starting to flower. Joel Durant. Last year’s massive statewide seed collection effort was spearheaded by the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI), which is working to get the word out … Ps…keep me updated on your blazing star. Is that what it is supposed to look like? Hi! When growing annual butterfly plants, I follow some basic rules: If Father Winter wipes out Asclepias species like tropical milkweed, giant milkweed, swan milkweed, balloon plant, etc…, sowing seeds outdoors each spring is not your best milkweed propagation option. The monarchs use them all at various points in the season. Reply. July 2019 Hope that’s a sign of an early Spring. Hope this helps: I’m wanting to plant as many milkweeds as I can this year. Placing multiple seeds in each hole will increase your chances of getting a seedling in each cell. I tried cuttings of my tropical milkweed this fall, and “swished” the cuttings in a peroxide solution before rooting them in water. I placed the containers of the tropical milkweed on my patio in mid March. August 2019 Hi Mary, I am also using one of the clone buckets for curassavica (next weekend). I planted some of those seeds today and before planting, I gently, but not too carefully, rubbed them across an emery board. I’m going to do my hardest to get this stuff to grow but it’s balcony container growing so I can only hope for the best. The rounded, pompom-like blooms characteristic of zinnias (Zinnia spp.) Feb 10, 2015 - Get a Jump on spring, and the monarchs, by starting seeds inside. Now I have to figure out what to do with 100 + seeds/ plants. So I think I should try starting them inside, we may get a frost tonight – our safe to plant date is either May 15/May 31. And if you use rock wool, make sure your great grandchildren like the idea because it NEVER breaks down. Hi Joy Price! Every year we get a jump start on spring by starting annual milkweed seeds inside. As you know we are in drought and we have to conserve water. For those of us who don’t have heat mats, it is not likely we can maintain warm water during the entire soaking. I took about fifty out a couple of weeks ago and placed them in a bowl of water. As a northern gardener who has had tropical milkweed the past 6 seasons, the monarchs have never layed eggs too late for migration, which indicates tropical milkweed is not their primary migration cue. Orange mw and swamp mw are not too far behind. Hi Sheri, thanks for your comment. They get this when planted outside, but to speed up the growing process, treat the seeds through stratification. grew with no signs of illness. Native milkweed seeds have a high germination rate with cold moist stratification. I think part of my problem last year was keeping the seeds at a toasty 80 degrees, which most garden vegetable seeds love, but in my research, discovered this is way too warm for perennial milkweed. Hopefully in a week or so. Fill the cups with seed starter soil inside of … When I mix the germinating medium, I add some mycorrhizal inoculate and a wee bit of rootshield to prevent damping off. I’ve never done this, and overnight soaking has always given me a very high germination rate when starting seeds inside. If you order milkweed seed in February you would think that it already has been cold stratified, NOT! P.S. Planting two helps to ensure all seed cells are filled with seedlings. Hi Vernon, tropical milkweed seeds don’t need cold moist stratification. Hi Tony, Last year I used your plastic jug method that you suggest for the perennial milkweed. My question is: I have 46 Tropical milkweed seedlings. I also got some free milkweeds seeds from livemonarch.com. Now I don’t know if I need to do a cold germination or just plant it early, but how early. Hope this helps! Five years ago, I ordered lots of milk weed seed packets and did a school-wide project with them. I live in South Florida. I’ve heard that it is better to not have them on a heating mat. yes John, you are definitely off to a good start. I am anxious to replant my little butterfly garden but its been quite chilly here for our area so I want to wait till it warms up a bit. May 2018 Also, which milkweed do you recommend for southern Florida (near West Palm Beach)? If you ever put seeds in plastic bags, let them completely dry before storing them. Hi Jean, I don’t think there’s any reason to cold stratify for more than a month so hopefully that still puts you way ahead of schedule. Do you think that will solve my problem? Here are some resources you should find helpful. December 2019 Many of the seeds are growing a white cottony appearance. The original fan info was posted here: 7 Spring Planting secrets for Growing Great Milkweed. Oct 5, 2015 - The Final Results for the warm weather annual milkweed seeds we started indoors. Or was I supposed to prune it along the way to encourage it to get bushy? Place the pots under a grow light or near a sunny window. Perhaps try raising a couple monarchs and see how that goes before you take on a whole crew again. Thanks so much for all of your helpful guidance. So far we have seen hardly any El Niño rain we are still almost 5″ less than normal for this time of the rain season. Make 3 drainage holes in the bottom of each cup. Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators. I also have swamp milkweed so the perennials are the easy milkweed to grow. My podcast Wonder Outside debuts on 4/22 in a few days...can I mention you as a resource for planting milkweed? I am actually just about to plant my first cynanchum seeds this week. Hi Trecia, I am familiar with the potential issues of growing tropical milkweed and have discussed them in other posts and on social media. . This is my first attempt at growing a tropical. Hi, I was just wandering…..how long should I leave my milkweed sprouts under a grow lamp? I live less than 7 miles inland (as the crow flies) from Monarch Bay Golf Course where a large group of Monarchs winter every year. Hopefully you are aware of the scientific conerns about Asclepia curassavic right now. I collected seeds last fall and kept them in my refrigerator. As you can see in this photo the common milkweed seeds are in a coffee filter. Tony, I planted my first ever Milkweed seeds and now have seedlings. April 2018 One season, our Gomphocarpus physcocarpus (balloon plant milkweed) plants grew 8 feet tall and were our last milkweed plants to succumb to a harsh Minnesota winter….not too shabby for a milkweed variety that’s only cold hardy to USDA zone 8! March 2018. ilkweed is a perennial in the lower 48 states so even if you are getting off to a late start, have no fear, they will come back next year and feed the next generations! In fact, most people wait until after their area's last frost but some like to get a headstart by planting them indoors. I soaked the 216 + seeds overnight but my germination after 10 days is < than 15%. January 2020 I’ve started my milkweed seeds under grow lights. What are your thoughts on swamp mllkweed? Do you think this m-weed is safe now? Hi Bill, I’m glad to hear you are seeing lots of monarchs, but I hope you guys finally see some relief from that relentless drought! As the seeds are growing, the peat moss helps to retain moisture, which is crucial for starting seeds. You said earlier if push comes to Shove Monarchs prefer Common over A. tuberosa. Can they be planted with other native flora or by themselves? When emerging milkweeds have three to four sets of leaves, thin seedlings to 6 inches apart. See Which milkweed seeds sprouted like weeds, and which are dead to me! Do you know of a calendar that would tell me what to do when? hen the last frost date is for your region. They may still germinate in our porch, but waiting for some warmer weather to entice them. I’ve had the seeds in the unit with a grow light on approximately 14 hours per day for two weeks. Even if you only get 1 plant growing, that's more than you had. We are urging people to concentrate on native milkweeds to save the population. Hi Louise, if you check out the bottom of my resource page, there are specific ebay stores and links to other nurseries you can purchase from, including one in your region. . translucent cups (as opposed to planting in seed tray inserts) so I don’t have to transplant before spring planting. I ordered Swamp Milkweed and Common Milkweed from American Meadows. Although you can plant Milkweed in the spring after cold stratification and starting seeds indoors, fall is the easier — and more natural — time to plant. You grass is dead and trees are distress. February 2020  X Research source If you have picked pods that aren't fully developed, attempt the harvest, but your overall result may be less due to a lower rate of success in your seeds growing. If southern gardeners aren’t willing or able to take those precautions, then I would agree that they should stick with native milkweed varieties. However, your cautionary point for southern region and California garners to cut down topical and restart from seed to avoid OE infection, also applies to those who take cuttings and overwinter. I have so many caterpillars they have stripped my plants, leaves can't grow fast enough. Would there be any advantage to starting them indoors or should I just wait until the last frost? Not all milkweed pods will produce viable seeds for a bountiful harvest in spring so you need to be careful which to pick. If you can’t find tropical milkweed plants locally, check out some of the suggested milkweed store options this spring: I started several varieties of milkweed seeds in peat pots a couple of weeks ago, and they are beginning to sprout. Last year I released about 100 monarchs August-November and had more than I’ve ever had! Vernalized seeds can be planted in the spring … Place 1-3 Milkweed seeds in each hole. Hi Linda, This one is thriving here. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established. Have you grown procera too? As a place people can visit for how to plant? I live in southern PA. Hi Tony, I started some tropical milkweed from seeds in September 2016. First off, so sorry to hear about this Sheila. Monarch larva will feed on all Milkweeds in the Asclepias genus. I live in northern IL where winter temps are frequently below freezing and I keep my seeds inside a brown paper bag in my garage. I planted, Swamp, Pink and Butterfly. We have both the regular variety and ice ballet. good luck! Makes it pretty much idiot proof. The inserts are fine if you prefer them. At last season’s end, I collected hundreds of tropical milkweed seeds and placed them in a baggy and into the refrigerator. I will keep you up to date on their progress. I have heard conflicting reports about whether they need cold treatment, or you can just soak the seeds in water. I prefer using 5 oz. At that point, post a photo on our facebook page and I should be able to ID for you: My a. Incarnata seeds are beginning to germinate! Keep the whole mess at 85 degrees until about an inch tall (about a week) then into a light tent running at 200 watts. Thanks in advance. Need I go with tropical varieties or will just planting native seed ASAP be my best plan? I hope they survive until the weather is warm enough to transplant. If so, what's the best method of soaking? Tony, with all due respect and gratitude, in reference to your response to Tricia, I agree that growing non- native milkweed doesn’t harm or disrupt monarch migration. They are also called seed trays. When it’s time to transplant the seedling into the garden, the peat can be easily peeled away from the root ball to make transferring to the ground easier on the plant (and you). , just waiting to get a headstart by planting them indoors can reap instant butterfly.! 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