In spring, your milkweed plants will likely arrive in a dormant state, with no green leaves above the soil line. Non-vernalized seeds can be planted in the fall, and nature will provide the cold treatment. Butterfly Lady showcases products with affiliate links. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. January 2019 Perennial plants, like milkweed, do best when planted in the fall so the seeds experience a period of cold. Thank you! April 2018 Refrigerate bag for 2 weeks to 30 days, it will depend on species. February 2019 Rebecca ChandlerGarden Educator, Naturalist and Ethnobotanist, October 2020 April 2019 When you purchase, we receive a small commission to fund butterfly education. How to Germinate Milkweed Seeds – the Key Steps: In order to germinate a large percentage of Milkweed Seeds, you need to do the following key steps. Milkweed is a central feature in my garden, and I want to make sure it has everything it needs to come back in the spring. Make sure there is no existing growth in the area before planting, so the milkweed seeds won’t need to fight underneath the surface to establish their roots. Planting the Seeds You can plant them closer and then thin the plants as they grow in, or, plant Swamp Milkweed and its cultivars between 30” and 36” apart. Milkweed. Like all wildflowers, milkweed should be planted on bare soil. I generally winter sow, as that is the easiest if you are trying to get a set number of plants. Spider Milkweed Flowers | © Marion Doss Why is fall planting milkweed a good idea? When your seeds have sprouted, keep the soil in your trays moist until the seedlings are ready to bring outside. I raised a few hundred Monarchs over the past few years and have spent a fortune on Milkweed plants. It is best to plant the seeds as early as possible, but make sure that you plant after the last frost. Fluffs of white appear along country roads in Michigan every fall – the seed pods of milkweed plants. Fall planting is a great way to get your perennial milkweed varieties started, since the seeds will need cold stratification …and Father Winter takes care of this naturally! I have started cloning with mixed results. If you have a large area and a quantity of seeds you can simply throw them out by the handful. The first step is to acquire seed. Don’t just moisten the soil: really douse it with water. Milkweed needs full sun to thrive. Milkweed seeds should be planted in the fall. Milkweed is a hardy plant. As winter progresses, they’ll naturally be exposed to the eight to ten weeks of cold temperatures required for them to germinate when spring arrives. Learn more from these related posts on our blog! Milkweeds are herbaceous perennials that flower throughout the summer, set seed and then naturally die back in fall, going dormant to sprout anew in spring. These little, fluffy seeds hold a lot of potential for monarchs passing through Michigan, and are important to many bees. FALL & WINTER. Milkweed releases its seeds at the end of the summer. While it prefers loose, well-drained soil, it can grow easily in clay or sandy soil as well. Spring planting is also possible but artificial stratification of the seed is recommended to enhance germination. Most milkweed species grow particularly well in undisturbed areas, so start by checking out roadsides, pastures, creek and river banks, railroad track beds, bike paths, highway medians, agricultural field margins, vacant land, cultivated gardens, and parks. Avoid spreading seed balls during the heat of the afternoon. Those of us with cold winters need to either sow our seeds in the fall or cold stratify them for spring planting. All other uses, including utilization of materials created by others, are prohibited without written permission from the respective copyright holder. If you live in a climate with a warmer winter, you can plant your seeds in either the spring or the fall. This is perfectly normal! Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Since they are a native plant with a deep root system, they excel in the earth where they can develop their tap root. Planting Milkweed 1 Water indoor seedlings regularly until they are 3 to 6 in (7.6 to 15.2 cm) in height. have you tried growing MW indoors, in pots? Growing Milkweed for Monarch Conservation (scroll down to May 2016) to hear from Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch on milkweed growing techniques and best practices. I see one seeded area has small spouts. How To Plant Milkweed Seeds In Fall: Water Once you’ve pressed the seeds into the soil, give the area a good watering to set the seeds. soak your seeds in water for several hours. You can check out some of your milkweed options here Autumn is also prime time for transplanting unhappy native milkweed varieties. org this should produce and 85% germination rate. To ensure the seed balls land and remain in … Let me know how it works out! Native milkweed species are the best plants to grow, because they die back to the ground in the fall and don’t begin growing again until the spring. Milkweed seed planted in fall is naturally stratified. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Luckily, there isn’t all that much that you need to do – though there are a few tips and tricks that you should follow to ensure the perennial growth of healthy plants with an abundance of blooms. The perfect time to sow native milkweed outdoors is right when Mother Nature does it, in the fall! Well, did you know that fall is the best time to plant milkweed seeds. Butterfly Weed in bloom. Consider planting milkweed varieties that are native to your region for best results. As an alternative, you can start your seeds indoors, 4-8 weeks before the average date of last frost. To propagate milkweed, we mimic nature. “Once harvested, you can either plant them in the fall or wait until spring.” Each pollinated milkweed flower forms one to two large teardrop-shaped green pods that turn brown or maroon as they mature. POM-POM PARADISE – THE SEASONS OF MILKWEED. Will Butterfly Milkweed Grow In Shade? after soaking put them in a sealed plastic bag with a 50/50 mix of vermiculite and perlite. Fall is the perfect time to collect and plant milkweed. 27.Eki.2019 - Fall Planting Milkweed Seeds- 10 Simple Steps! Planting milkweed seeds Milkweed seeds need to be stratified to help them germinate. August 2018 You can make a difference – Kids and adults can replant this fragrant flower in your own gardens. Milkweed seeds are naturally spread in the fall by wind when its large pods release seed parachutes. Seeds start easily when sown outdoors in the fall and can also be started indoors. Planting milkweed from seed. Because you’re planting in the fall, you won’t need to water after this until early spring when the seeds start to germinate. (click, to find out when your average first frost is). January 2020 Thank you for your support! If you do scatter them loosely by hand, come spring when the seeds start to germinate you may want to thin them out if they are extremely close together. I recommend planting them directly in the ground, however you can plant them in pots with some additional attention. July 2020 October 2019 Then, when you are ready to sow seeds, start by getting your garden area ready. When you think about it, it’s rather remarkable how a butterfly can spot a single milkweed from the sky. Do not cover the seeds! I purchased milkweed seeds to plant in the fall. Casting or planting seeds in the fall offers the best chance of success. Over the years I’ve germinated hundreds of Milkweed Seeds! Any suggestions. May 2018 You may share Butterfly Lady’s articles and photos, for non-commercial purposes, if you attribute Suzanne Tilton as the author/photographer and create an active link back to Butterfly-Lady.com. The cool temperatures of fall put less stain on transplants. Some birds are known to … I still have Monarchs laying eggs here! In summer, spent milkweed flowers can be deadheaded to prolong the blooming period. Milkweed seeds require light to germinate, so if you cover them with soil, they won’t germinate come spring. I live in Southern California. Below are the sites where these milkweed and pollinator gardens were planted this fall; to expand critical habitat for the Monarch butterfly, Rusty-patched bumblebee and other native pollinators. 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