To avoid these conditions, keep your plants thinned out and avoid standing pools of water and over-watering in general. This is the generation that will complete an incredible flight to the southern regions of North America, to roost and overwinter before continuing the journey northward to start the cycle anew. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Start milkweed seeds indoors 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost in your area. Plants from the Asclepias genus tend to be either half hardy or hardy perennials.. Water Wisely. They can grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet in height, so don’t crowd them. Its leaves look like a four-sided figure, are broad and of a light shade of green. All of these steps can be skipped if you’re sowing the seeds outdoors, but I would recommend planting lots of extra seeds if you take this route. These seeds are from a reliable grower and have good germination rates. $20.00 Sold out Whorled milkweed seed, Asclepias verticillata. If you have room to keep the stems up you can leave them for winter interest, but you’re free to cut them back if you don’t like the way they look. Amazingly, the plants have built-in defenses like irritating hairs and their aforementioned natural toxins to slow the buffet line down, but they do not altogether prevent the insects from using the plant as a food source. Many milkweeds are suited to dry soils but some, like swamp milkweed, need moist and rich soil to grow well. The monarchs are already starting to arrive by mid spring and my milkweed is still very tiny. The ideal milkweed to grow in Minnesota is called Asclepias syriaca, which you can order online from the Save Our Monarchs Foundation. $8.00 Sold out Showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa seeds. The pink colored flower bunches bloom at the top of the milkweed plant’s stem, looking like a globe. Hi Matt, thank you for the very interesting info. I planted two milkweed plants fairly close to each other and near other butterfly-loving plants. There are three milkweeds native to Maryland: swamp milkweed ( Ascelepias incarnata) 3-4'/2'; butterflyweed or butterfly milkweed ( Asclepias tuberosa ). For the swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), these seeds receive consistently good reviews, and are sold via Seed Needs USA. Plant seedlings 6 to 24 in (15 to 61 cm) apart outside in full sun and well-drained soil. Wear gloves. Milkweeds (Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. Look how much the milkweed grew in 14 days! Here is more about what we do. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Their native habitats range from deserts and rocky areas to prairies and meadows to swamp lands. Hi Ann, Milkweed spreads pretty easily from seed so I anticipate that direct seeding in the field will yield good results. Sullivant’s milkweed is a suckering perennial growing 3-4 feet tall. I would love to hear from anyone who has started with a grassy area and has successfully mass planted with seed. Because of their toxicity, Asclepias also attracts few ailments or problems. 2-3'-2'; and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) 3-5'. My question is how to know what is happening to my standard milkweed here in CA. it can grown in almost any type of soil but does best in soil with good drainage. Besides typical fungal issues that can be found in many areas of the garden with an abundance of moisture, milkweed can suffer from general heat stress and damage. Hi: Which milkweed are invasive? It has nice orange flowers too, so that’s another bonus. It prefers partial shade, and will do well in a yard with shade from large trees. The plant grows to about 0.75 meters (2.5 feet) tall, sometimes taller, with 4 to 6 pairs of opposite leaves. These native milkweed plants are specially adapted to succeed in that location. Some species grow exclusively in specific regions while others will thrive in jus… Remove yellowed leaves and those with lots of damage from insects. They are about 3’ tall but have no signs of flower buds at all and although we have millions of various butterflies all over our yard and multiple flowers, butterflies do not get on the milkweed plants. I’m hoping to find a variety that will be well underway by the time the monarchs arrive. How to Grow Asclepias Plants in your Garden Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, and Butterfly weed. It can be difficult to get these to bloom early if the weather isn’t on their side! Similar to common milkweed in structure, it blooms slightly later which allows for a longer milkweed blooming season. It’s the plant we’re most familiar with seeing growing in the wild. Flowers are pink with salmon-orange tones. Thankfully it’s easy to spot and tell apart from tiny, pale white monarch butterfly eggs. Milkweed is botanically known as Asclepias spp. Matt Suwak was reared by the bear and the bobcat and the coyote of rural Pennsylvania. It is about one to two feet tall, with glossy, lanceolate leaves that are arranged spirally up the length of the stem. Leaves: are opposite, oval-shaped and 2-10 inches tall. Because milkweed plants tend to be clonal (closely related), it is worthwhile to collect seeds from several different areas for better germination rates. The only solution here is to remove and destroy the infected plants before they spread the ailment to other plants. Be forewarned, however, that you will likely end up with butterfly … Its a perennial that's pretty common, usually 2-3 feet high but a guidebook says it will go to 6 feet. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. As you select different States or Provinces on the next page you will see the milkweed thats has been found to grow in that area for hundreds of years. Better yet, they attract a veritable swarm of wildlife, and that’s always a good thing for the eco-conscious gardener! Timing is everything. For more information on the various types of milkweed and which grow best in your area, take a look at this fact sheet put together by Monarch Joint Venture. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Height: grows from 2-6 feet high. It will grow to a height of 24-36 inches in zones 3-9. Thanks for sharing! This plant is also a primary food source and shelter for a variety of beetles, and has earned its place as a vital native plant species for healthy ecosystems nationwide. It usually has a single, simple stem. Tropical Milkweed Monarch Butterfly Favorite. How tall does milkweed grow and do they spread? A monarch butterfly will lay its eggs on the underside of a leaf. If you have the room, you may want to include other flowering plants for nectar sources for the butterflies. I hope these work for… Read more ». I had expected some flowers this summer. He presently resides in Philadelphia and works under the sun as a landscaper and gardener, and by moonlight as a writer. Asclepias seeds need a period of cold to become viable, with some added moisture. Stems become hollow and hairy as the plant matures. I have a very large bunch of hungry caterpillars. Fortunately for those who really like to do it all yourself, milkweed plants produce extraordinarily generous bounties of seeds for you to harvest. After wetting and preparing the growing medium, add one to three seeds per pod. The magic number is usually 1/3rd of the height of the plant, so if your milkweed is six feet tall in May you can bump them down to a good four feet. Ensure the top of the peat pods is covered in soil, or carefully cut any extra pieces away to. Great, I’m glad it was a good and helpful read! As to how far you cut them back, I like to leave a few inches visible as reference to where the plant is. It’s really easy to forget what’s where in the garden, especially in the springtime when everything kind of looks the same. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Most monarchs live for an average of 4 weeks, but every fourth generation lives for 6 to 8 months! The seed is simple to harvest from the ripe pods. For controlling perennials and fast growers like this, you can tip them back in the late spring. I understand your concerns completely — I had a bad outbreak in my delphiniums this year, weirdly. Milkweed also supports other butterflies and pollinating insects. Since milkweed requires a period of cold stratification, it is best to either seed in late fall after a frost but before a hard freeze or to cold stratify in the refrigerator an seed in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. See the attached link for more information on butterflies and gardeninghttp://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/wildlife/landscaping-for-wildlife/pa-wildlife-8mh. Over time, the plant should continue to self seed and spread further by its network of creeping rhizomes. It’s going to be tough to find this in garden centers but you can easily collect seeds, cold stratify them, and get them started for next year. Monarch caterpillars utterly depend on Asclepias for their diet, but so too do a number of insects all specialized in dining on the otherwise-toxic milky sap of the plant. The sap of milkweed can be harmful to both skin and eyes. Want to add a splash of dazzling color to your flower beds? Leaves grow from a thick stalk and are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the plant matures. Do you have some extra tips on growing milkweed to share, or maybe a few questions? The eave is 8′. If before this stage the stems begin to develop signs of disease, you can cut them right to the ground and wait for their return next year. The flowers and pods also are striking in fresh and dried cut-flower arrangements. That makes me love butterfly gardens! You can make this a reality with the simple addition of milkweed to your garden. I can’t figure out what happened. Common milkweed is the favorite of monarch butterflies. It attracts butterflies and grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. The milkweed plant is an upright specimen that may reach 2 to 6 feet. Common milkweed will most likely not be available in garden centers and the horticultural varieties are not invasive. It grows in wet prairies. Many plants get top heavy like this; ornamental alium, dahlia, and marigolds come to mind first. I was honestly surprised by how many monarch caterpillars hatched and grew on the bush. Best offers for your Garden - https://amzn.to/2InnD0w ----- How to Grow Milkweed From Seeds. I am going to mass plant common milkweed in a large plot on our farm. For that reason, I recommend starting yours from seed. On Sale On Sale Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca seeds. Swamp milkweed's fragrant blossoms are mauve, pink or white. If you want to plant the common milkweed (A. syriaca), this is a good bunch of seeds! Most of these companies recommend cold stratifying the seeds before spring planting to further guarantee germination, so order early! The bloodflower, or sunset flower (A. curassavica) is another stunning variety, with red and yellow flowers and a max height of about 36 inches. It’s helpful to have a diverse selection of native milkweed and flowering plants, but avoid tropical milkweed (A. curassavica). Plant the right types, and you’ll have a never-ending summer show of cascading butterflies! Milkweed blooms in spring through summer. I tend to leave plants in place, leaves or not, until it’s clear the stem is not producing any more leaves and is dying back. Directly sow your seeds in the garden in the late fall, and let the winter weather take care of cold stratification for you! These plants are three feet tall. Doesn’t seem like you’re doing anything wrong! Fourleaf_Milkweed_Gans_5-10-12.JPG. This is a great article. You might find some flower… Read more », Hi, I have healthy milkweed plants that overwintered and came up in the spring. I don’t have a large area if they spread too much. Asclepias is also known as "Silk of America" which is a strand of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) gathered mainly in the valley of the Saint Lawrence River in Canada. 2-3'-2'; and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) 3-5'. That’s an excellent article, thank you for sharing. Many garden centers will sell a variety of milkweed species during the growing season, but finding live plants online can be difficult. Matt, they’re out of control! If you notice even a few aphids on the milkweed, spray them off with a hose (check for monarch caterpillars or eggs first!). these seeds receive consistently good reviews, The Best Tips for Cultivating Showy Garden Croton Indoors, 9 Quick Tips to Make Jack-O’-Lanterns Last, The Complete Guide to Growing Winter Squash, How to Start Worm Farming: Adventures in Composting and Vermiculture, How to Protect Rosemary Plants in the Winter, Lemongrass Winter Care: How to Prepare for the Cold, 35 Favorite Poinsettia Cultivars for Your Home. 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