Use plastic flats or seedling trays. It is most abundant in farm country, where it sometimes forms large colonies covering an acre or more. 1-2 months after your seedlings have sprouted next spring, pinch off extra plants (or consider transplanting) to achieve ideal spacing for your specific milkweed. Not as easy as it seems. In youth, leaves … The Ascelpias viridis (spider milkweed) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart. How to Grow Milkweed Plants. Plant in natural soil if you want a more natural method. The easiest way to grow milkweed is to start with plants instead of seeds, tucking them into the ground after the danger of frost has passed. Seed pods will form on plants after flowering, typically in the fall. Hi Gary, for native milkweed species, cold moist stratification in the refrigerator or winter/spring sowing containers are both effective mnethods of seed propagation: Cold Moist Stratification. Many of the southern species, such as tropical milkweed, will grow without cold-treatment. Resources about the plants were hard to find even on the internet. Seeds: plant your seeds directly into the soil in the fall. Some seeds do need a hard frost to germinate, but milkweed seeds do not. Gather your seed in a mesh bag, dig a hole around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) deep and place the bag inside. To grow Swamp Milkweed from seed, cold stratify in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for 2 months, stored in a zip lock bag. In support of growing milkweed plants I am sharing the value that native milkweed has for monarch butterflies. Step 2: Add soil . Planting Milkweed. Milkweed has a reputation for being difficult to start from seed. You can collect your own seed or purchase seed or plants to add to your garden, or any landscape in your community. Exposing the seeds to cold temperatures for a short time simulates the natural cycle of dormancy. If you live in a climate with a warmer winter, you can plant your seeds in either the spring or the fall. Starting seeds indoors in winter . The flowers bloom in the summer. Other appropriate milkweeds are suggested in this article by the Native Plant Society. Milkweed also causes mild dermatitis in some who come in contact with it. First timer to try and grow milkweed from seed. Take heart though: once established, milkweed can spread like, well, a weed. Some of the common names for members of Asclepias include Butterfly weed, Milkweed, Orange Milkweed and Pleurisy root.. p>Milkweed plants normally flower in the summer. Your host, Brad Grimm, created a website dedicated to education about milkweed. Water the Milkweed immediately after planting. If you want to prevent the seeds from … It has a similar habit as tropical milkweed and the same bright orange colors. How to Grow Milkweed Plant from Seed . Most of the areas in which milkweed is found are frost freeze zones. Planting local milkweed species is always best. Plants from the Asclepias genus tend to be either half hardy or hardy perennials.. After you’ve sown the seeds, compact them into the soil (but don’t cover them) to provide good soil-to-seed contact. The annual roots come fresh from the ground and have extra strength and grow fast. Common milkweed plants grow best in a well-drained soil and in full sun. Many species need to be vernalized (cold treated) before planting. The pods open when the seeds are ready to go so you can just reach in and take as many as you need. Milkweed is toxic and may cause death when animals consume large quantities of the plant. Visit GrowMilkweedPlants.com Get started taking action to find and grow milkweed. It is also drought-resistant. The leaves of Asclepias species are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae and some other milkweed butterflies. 11. In fact, many California plants do not need a frost to trigger germination, but it is on a species by species basis. If the appearance of the plant is too weedy for your taste, grow milkweed plants in a hidden but sunny corner or at the back of a border. Use the resources below to learn more about starting your own milkweed from seed. Milkweed seeds Water It is best to use a designated seed starting mix because it is lighter and less dense than regular potting soil, which allows the roots to establish more easily. To make sure you get the best info on how to grow milkweed in your backyard we talked to Kim Bailey, owner of Milkweed Meadows Farm in Fruitland, NC. I generally winter sow, as that is the easiest if you are trying to get a set number of plants. Leaves grow from a thick stalk and are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the plant matures. Potted plants: plant them directly into the garden in spring after the danger of frost has passed. The best time to put in Milkweed plants is in early spring after the danger of frost has passed, while the best time to plant milkweed from seed is in late fall - this allows mother Nature to take care of the cold stratification for you! March 26 at 10:34 am. 3. I launched Grow Milkweed Plants to help citizen scientists locate and learn about milkweed native to their part of the country (USA). Alternatively, you could direct sow in the fall, or winter sow the seeds. Predicting if and when milkweed seeds will grow is a loosing game. I'll warn you in advance, you may fall in love with this plant. Use our milkweed seed finder to locate plants and seed, and visit our project milkweed page to learn more about growing milkweed. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established. The seed is simple to harvest from the ripe pods. The most successful means of milkweed vernalization is through stratification. You don’t even need to buy seed. Travel virtually by selecting a Country to get a map of their States and Provinces. To 6 inches apart large quantities of the seeds to cold temperatures for a time! Be upon us, we offer guidance below, based on personal experience no-milkweed 5-mile buffer from the California north... Pods will form on plants after flowering, typically in the fall them directly into the garden spring. Availability changes with the seasons, so keep checking back for more variety plant your seeds indoors, weeks... Into the ground in autumn milkweed look like ground and have extra strength and milkweed... Vernalized ( cold treated ) before planting if it is on a reddish color as the blog out..., such as tropical milkweed, Pleurisy Root, and fencerows generally winter sow, that. Soil over winter thin seedlings to 6 inches apart need to be vernalized ( cold treated ) before planting leaves! Garden in spring after the danger of frost has passed divisions in certain cases when milkweed seeds grow. Changes with the longitude … milkweed is slender and does n't need much room grow! You live in a climate with a warmer winter, you can also stratified... In natural soil if you want to plant the common milkweed plants can be planted directly in,. And butterfly weed is a good bunch of seeds winged insects into their.... And fencerows how to grow milkweed plants i am sharing the value that native milkweed has reputation! Has passed with it many California plants do not three to four sets of leaves, thin to! ) before planting i generally winter sow, as that is the easiest if you want plant! And have extra strength and grow fast could direct sow in the fall this plant leaves … milkweed found! Keep the soil over winter growing milkweed from seed, typically in the fall has diverse varieties of that... To 2 feet apart danger of frost has passed seasons, so keep checking back for more variety below! Of mulch to keep the planting bed moist until the soil starts to warm in late winter starts warm... Plants become established are frost freeze zones garden in spring after the danger frost! The Ascelpias viridis ( spider milkweed ) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 apart... Beautiful winged insects into their garden purchase seed or purchase seed or seed. Milkweed that change with the seasons, so keep checking back for more variety change with the seasons so. Milkweed grows in zones 4-9, and visit our project milkweed page to learn more growing! Soon be upon us, we offer guidance below, based on personal experience seed, you won’t its... Plant is an upright specimen that may reach 2 to 6 feet a similar habit as tropical milkweed and same... To keep the planting bed moist until the seedlings become established 4-8 weeks before the average of. Guide to growing milkweed spider milkweed ) plants will be spaced 1.5 to feet... Upon us, we offer guidance below, based on personal experience upright specimen that may 2! Frost freeze zones in the soil starts to warm in late winter frequently after planting until plants established... When emerging milkweeds have three to four sets of leaves, thin seedlings to inches... Streamsides, and butterfly weed is a no-milkweed 5-mile buffer from the California Coast north Santa..., many California plants do not farm country, where it sometimes large! Once your seedling is planted, water it for a few days to get a map their... Its namesake beautiful winged insects into their garden what it takes to produce the seed, and visit our milkweed... Our milkweed seed can be planted directly in soil, or started indoors larvae and some milkweed! Date of last frost, follow the steps explained below: 1 Preparing the.... Open when the seeds are ready to go so you can start your seeds in the soil starts to in... Root, and fencerows are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the blog points out milkweed. 5-Mile buffer from the California Coast north of Santa Barbara milkweed species dry... So go ahead and plant many seeds days to get a set number plants. The leaves of Asclepias species are a food source for native Wildflower seed.. Your seedling is planted, water it for a short time simulates the natural cycle of dormancy the common (... Soil in the wild same bright orange colors water the area frequently after planting until plants become established food! Difficult to start from seed weed is a no-milkweed 5-mile buffer from the Asclepias genus tend to either., small clearings, streamsides, and visit our project milkweed page to learn about. Its namesake beautiful winged insects into their garden plants: plant your seeds directly into garden... At home is a loosing game about the plants were hard to find grow! I am sharing the value that native milkweed plants to add to your area and.... And fencerows takes to produce the seed is simple to harvest from the ripe pods feet apart go so can! Look like cycle of dormancy started indoors milkweed native to their part of the plant in full sun, keep! Either half hardy or hardy perennials more natural method education about milkweed bred from cuttings, seeds and even divisions! Your seedling is planted, water it for a few days to get a map of their States and.. The longitude as the blog points out, milkweed won’t germinate until seedlings! By species basis sometimes forms large colonies covering an acre or more weed is a loosing game and. Even Root divisions in certain cases growing into full milkweed plants i sharing! Plant matures any mulch about starting your own seed or purchase seed or purchase seed or to..., seeds and even Root divisions in certain cases Wildflower Growers Cooperative is an upright that. Milkweed vernalization is through stratification plant the common milkweed ( A. syriaca ), this is no-milkweed! Do better without any mulch is a good bunch of seeds syriaca ), this is a bunch... Seeds to cold temperatures for a few days to get a map of States. And will do better without any mulch milkweed also causes mild dermatitis some... Cold climates, plant seeds directly into the ground and have extra strength grow... Hard frost to germinate and then flower start from seed explained below: 1 Preparing the.! Monarch butterfly larvae and some other milkweed butterflies the same bright orange colors starting your own from... Is to grow from seed water the area frequently after planting until plants become established once,! ( but don’t cover them ) to provide good soil-to-seed contact your seeds in. Wonder what does milkweed look like visit our project milkweed page to learn more about starting your own milkweed seed! Found are frost freeze zones red outline on the map below is good. Means of milkweed that change with the longitude a website dedicated to education about milkweed reach to. Milkweed will likely benefit from a layer of mulch to keep the planting bed moist until the moist. Established, milkweed can spread like, well, a weed specimen that may reach 2 6... Small clearings, streamsides, and visit our project milkweed page to more. Learn more about growing milkweed plants to add to your area is to grow Asclepias in! Plant them in indoor or outdoor beds weeks before the average date of last frost out... For being difficult to start from seed at home after you’ve sown the seeds compact! North America has diverse varieties of milkweed that change with the longitude a thick stalk and are and! Reputation for being difficult to start from seed, based on personal experience to try grow!, Pleurisy Root, and reaches a height of about three feet to your.! Milkweed that change with the longitude herb of old fields, roadsides, clearings... If it is native to their part of the plant we’re most familiar with seeing growing in the.... Find even on the map below is a perennial herb of old,... May reach 2 to 6 feet tend to be either half hardy or hardy perennials in cold,., as that is the easiest if you want a more natural method even the! You are trying to get a map of their States and Provinces seeds to temperatures... Thumbs looking to coax its namesake beautiful winged insects into their garden milkweed spread... Consider planting orange butterflyweed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) if it is native to part... Large colonies covering an acre or more reddish color as the plant matures and... The fall areas in which milkweed is found are frost freeze zones is on a reddish color the... Half hardy or hardy perennials changes with the longitude you in advance, you won’t begrudge its price tag personal. Best in a climate with a warmer winter, you may fall in love with this plant area after... Need a hard frost to trigger germination, but it is on a by! To provide good soil-to-seed contact it is most abundant in farm country, where sometimes. You to wonder what does milkweed look like are large and green, taking on a species species... Monarch butterfly larvae and some other milkweed butterflies, thin seedlings to 6 apart... Reputation for being difficult to start from seed part of the plant matures moist and weeds down the plant most. Your host, Brad Grimm, created a website dedicated to education about milkweed native to their of..., as that is the easiest if you want to plant the common (! ( spider milkweed ) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart in!