Start Seeds In Peat Pots - It’s time to plant the cold-stratified Milkweed seeds. I placed the containers of the tropical milkweed on my patio in mid March. We are urging people to concentrate on native milkweeds to save the population. I’m interested to see how much faster this process works compared to just setting the cuttings in a glass of water…last year some of my cuttings rotted using this simpler method. They’re presently in the refrigerator in cold stratification as I prepare peat pots and lights. Also, what annual plant sales do you have in your area? Hi Jenny, milkweed can come up all over the place if you just let it seed. Large seed pods open up and self seed readily, spreading this native wildflower’s seeds each season. November 2019 Place 1-2 cold stratified seeds in each pot. Chill in a refrigerator at least 30 days. Hi Jeff, that sounds like a nice patch of milkweed. You can save your seeds till next year and start them early inside, then transplant outside when the weather warms up. I’ve never seen two at a time. Most warm weather species don’t “get growing” until the temps trend tropical. A seed cell is simply a plastic planting container that is often used in greenhouses to start seeds in. . I’m not sure what you’re planting, but I would probably stick with 2 species. Is that a sensible option for attracting monarchs? Shouldn’t we be able to just plant the seeds in the fall like other wildflowers? 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. In some areas it is illegal to remove any natural materials from public or private property. August 2019 If the seed has a hard shell or coating gently sand one side of the seeds with a fingernail file or fine sandpaper. Rebecca ChandlerGarden Educator, Naturalist and Ethnobotanist, October 2020 There is no reason not to at least attempt to get them to germinate. Right now it is raining (thank God) but night are cold (30-40) So again conservation of water will be high. I did a moist (coffee filter) stratification in the fridge for 3 weeks, then gave them a six hour soak in 500 ppm giberellic acid solution. . I’ve heard that it is better to not have them on a heating mat. Hi Vicki, there are plenty of nectar plants that add color and beauty to the garden, but always happy to see the milkweed eaten down…I hope they find your milkweed patch this season! Full sunlight? I keep them … Every year I have at least a dozen of the wild milkweed in my yard, I never seem to get Monarchs. I’m hoping the water pump inside the cloning bucket solves that issue. For those of us who don’t have heat mats, it is not likely we can maintain warm water during the entire soaking. Milkweed seedlings can be started indoors in a greenhouse or under artificial lighting and then transplanted outdoors after the average date of last frost. Very last minute but would love to link to this site and mention you. Bring them indoors? Is it possible to plant them, or should I just play Taps? Hello Jordan! I sowed over 50 but only had 7 germinate. Hi David, just a marketers way to make the cultivar sound more enticing…kind of like when they call tropical milkweed ‘butterfly flower’….autumn blaze is the same as the ‘gay butterflies’ cultivar of Asclepias tuberosa. Not all milkweed pods will produce viable seeds for a bountiful harvest in spring so you need to be careful which to pick. Tony , I live in Florida Where would I get milkweed seeds. Most seeds need temperatures between 60 to 70°F in order to properly germinate. Okay, it appears I crapped up on this one. Hi Stormie, you can check out my milkweed resource page that has 25 different varieties. Spaced about 18-24in apart. As for not discussing natives, this article is about ‘annual milkweeds’ so it was not my intent to discuss native milkweed here. 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 nearly every flower that they need for feeding and egg laying , why are they not laying eggs on the milkweed? The monarchs use them all at various points in the season. Reply. There are no nectar plants in bloom yet. They grew to chrysalis size-some even started to shed; but they ALL died-some 25 cats. When they reach about a foot high, it should be easier to tell them apart. September 2018 Not knowing how to germinate them, my attempts to grow from seed were failures. They are now almost 12″ tall, but only have a single trunk (stem? Hi Frank, it’s not unusual for the first leaves to fall from the plant. Never heard of it and google search comes up only with references to SeedNeeds. Might be a silly question but can I save the leaves by freezing? Please click on the links inside the post for more info about planting…. If you still have cold temps, they will grow at a slow pace…once the lid is ready to come off, spring should hopefully be here to stay. With a little knowledge, most seeds are easy to start and care for indoors. However, I’m not sure how viable the seeds were. 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. Be patient, older seeds may well take an extended period of time to germinate. In fall, once the infamous seed pods are popping open, revealing the fluff (coma) and seeds inside, it’s easy to identify. Do not know if the seeds are viable as I haven’t started any yet; right now I’m concentrating on starting a rack of meadow blazing stars. This is my first attempt at growing a tropical. I collected seeds last fall and kept them in my refrigerator. Maybe try spring sowing containers outside if you have extra seeds. I am in zone 6a (NW AR.) I live in southern PA. Hi Tony, I started some tropical milkweed from seeds in September 2016. Hope this helps: I’m wanting to plant as many milkweeds as I can this year. Place 1-3 Milkweed seeds in each hole. To plant, I separate the brown seeds from the fuzzy fibers. May 2020 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! I’ve had the seeds in the unit with a grow light on approximately 14 hours per day for two weeks. Hi Mary, I am also using one of the clone buckets for curassavica (next weekend). Thanks Tony. October 2018 Fill the flats with a soil mix suitable for seedlings (most potting mixes are), thoroughly soak the soil, and let the excess water … October 2019 Aren’t these seeds designed by nature to propagate the species without human intervention? I realize this info should be included on this page too so I added it. I’m off to a good start. They’re all perennial varieties and I sense will not bloom this year? If this is your first year with milkweed, I would suggest creating winter sowing containers ASAP. December 2019 I know many people will find it helpful. The original fan info was posted here: 7 Spring Planting secrets for Growing Great Milkweed. Is there any way to tell the varieties apart as seedlings? Just soak seeds in water 24 hours before planting. Happy Gardening! You can plant your Milkweed outside after the danger of frost has passed. I obviously have no annual milkweed seeds. 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. January 2019 Starting Milkweed Seeds Indoors. March 2019 Makes it pretty much idiot proof. April 2019 My common mw is about 8″ tall and doing good in pots inside, just waiting to get in the flower bed. As you know we are in drought and we have to conserve water. Wondered if this is a normal occurrence/color for the leaves or is it an ailment? Last year I released about 100 monarchs August-November and had more than I’ve ever had! And I also have about 200 other nector and host plants growing also. I look forward to hearing how your procera plants do in year 1 after starting a cloning bucket…please keep us posted! You’ll find almost every type of milkweed you can imagine: Glad to see that a lot of folks are now using heat mats. Even though it was still cold here in PA I had a bumper crop of tropical milkweed using that method and they were mature plants by August. 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. December 2018 June 2019 There are links for more info and to buy milkweed seeds/plants. Hope this helps…. Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators. Do you have information on the season in the mountains (5,500 ft.) of California? Hi! Do you know of a calendar that would tell me what to do when? That’s a good method to use if you aren’t sure of your seed quality. I hope to have this problem. If the rest of the leaves look healthy I wouldn’t worry. use grow lightsStarting annual milkweed doesn’t require a lengthy cold stratification…or even a short one! Oct 5, 2015 - The Final Results for the warm weather annual milkweed seeds we started indoors. Along with some a curassavica so far the process looks promising. I know it can get pretty crazy is southern California…good luck! I moved three of them to leaves on the more mature plants so they won’t run out of food. Hi Larry, swamp milkweed is consistently one of our top performing milkweed species in our northern butterfly garden. 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. As the seeds are growing, the peat moss helps to retain moisture, which is crucial for starting seeds. Plastic flats can be used to start the seeds. Check these out: Hi Tony, lovely website and bless you for your instructions. The plants take a long time to form their wonderful seed capsules and I usually harvest from August on as they form. Would there be any advantage to starting them indoors or should I just wait until the last frost? You can plant milkweed seeds in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked, but they will need to be stratified for 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator before planting in spring for better germination. I read up on all the tricks and tips others had to offer, and gave it another go starting the middle of February this year. If it is difficult to keep these temperatures, use a seed starter heat mat to maintain proper temperatures. Happy growing! Now I don’t know if I need to do a cold germination or just plant it early, but how early. sounds like quite a busy start to your season Bill. Dec 27, 2017 - Get a Jump on spring, and the monarchs, by starting seeds inside. Is that what it is supposed to look like? If you’ve ever seen milkweed in action in the fall, it’s easy to understand. I'm in the process of testing the method using common milkweed seeds. First off, so sorry to hear about this Sheila. 3 of the 5 proceeds have sprouted. Wish I could post a picture, but not sure how to do it. See Which milkweed seeds sprouted like weeds, and which are dead to me! attract bees and butterflies to the landscape throughout the growing season. Cold-treating your seeds causes better germination results in plants that are native to temperate climates, such as most types of milkweed. I look forward to hearing more about your garden over the season. How does it differ from growing gigantea in your opinion? Tony, I planted my first ever Milkweed seeds and now have seedlings. Plant your Milkweed Seeds. They may still germinate in our porch, but waiting for some warmer weather to entice them. Mix 1 part peat with 1 part potting soil in a large pot. 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