anyone w/s common milkweed?

wendy2shoesApril 22, 2013

I wintersowed some common milkweed seeds collected from the side of the road. I wanted some plants for my butterfly bed. So far, no sprouts, or even swelling seeds. Anyone here tried growing them? Am I better off trying to find a shoot or baby plant in the wild?

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pghgardengirl(6b SW PA)

I bought some seeds online and planted them out in an uncovered container in early April. I am zone 6. I have sprouts. I found a good website that I ordered from that has good articles on growing milkweed. Here's a link if you want to read more about sowing them.

Glad you posted this because I had totally forgotten about the baggies of them in the bottom of my fridge drawer! LOL

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:55PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Yes I've started common milkweed from seed. The seeds have germinated just fine, but several of the seedlings did not come back the next year, perhaps they didn't like the location where I planted them, or something.

Anyway, it could be that your seed was not viable. There is a milkweed bug that will sometimes eat the inside of the seeds. You can test your seed by cutting one in half with sharp scissors or a blade, and if you see the white embryo inside, chances are the seeds are good.

Did you sow them early enough in the winter for the seeds to get cold stratification? This helps soften the seed coat. Also it could be too early yet and you need to wait for it to warm up a bit more.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:17PM
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I sowed them both last year and this, successful last year but haven't seen anything in that jug so far this year. I'm hoping they'll sprout soon!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:05PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Not sure which variety is common, but my tuberosa sprouted last week, and two of the three incarnata's that I planted out last year just broke the surface of the ground -- I had to carefully clear the weeds and there they were. (Why do the weeds come up so early when we have to wait for the good stuff?).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:24AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Caryl, all the Asclepias is late to emerge from the ground. I can't see shoots on any of mine yet.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:54AM
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It's Asclepias Syriaca

I sliced open a seed, and there is a white "meat" inside. The seeds have been out since January, so lots of strat. Maybe they need warm temps to germinate, which we have not been getting here in Southern Ontario this spring!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:59PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

I think I have those growing like weeds in my vegetable garden, wendy. I don't let them get to the flower stage there. Anyone have pics of incarnata. I got the seeds in an exchange a few years ago and this will be the first year they might flower since they managed to make it through the winter. (Well, they might have the year before but I seriously didn't know they were perennials and probably pulled them by mistake. This year I knew to look for them, thanks to posts here.)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:12AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Wendy it sounds like they need warmer temps to sprout. I've got some incarnata that has sprouted, but 2 other containers haven't and neither has the purple milkweed (A. purpurascens).

Caryl, A. syriaca is a wonderful plant, very important host plant for Monarch butterflies, also the flowers have a heavenly fragrance. Otherwise, it is not a great garden plant - it spreads by rhizomes, pretty much where it feels like.

I have 3 established patches of it in the yard, all 3 "planted themselves". One of them is in the middle of a woodland garden and it gets very little sun! I've tried transplanting the stalks to another spot, and guess what - it died in the new spot, and came back like gangbusters in the woodland garden.... :-/

Now I let it grow where it wants, and garden around it. It attracts the Monarchs to the yard, and even though the plants growing in shade don't flower, they do provide some handy food for the caterpillars.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:20AM
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I'm interested in it because it is the most common host for monarchs. Both my swamp milkweed and incarnata got overrun by swamp milkweed beetles last year, so I wanted something hardy for my butterfly bed. It can go in there and duke it out with my agastache!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:37AM
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My tuberosa just sprouted this week. It may be that your variety is a little slower. There are micro climates all over the place too. Someone from my zone reported that their agastache had sprouted almost two weeks ago, yet mine have just sprouted now. I would give it more time.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:42PM
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I opened the container to cover the seeds that were just laying on top of the soil. I discovered a couple of seeds had sent out wee roots! Yay.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Our swamp milkweed started from seed also got eaten by a very colorful beetle and pretty much died. However the wild milkweed that is so fragrant (like warm honey) has grown well, but beware, it can travel underground. Ours even climbed up a low rock wall/berm and is growing on top of it, and it has also sent roots snaking under the lawn to another bed. Once in awhile we see a monarch but haven't seen any larva this year yet.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:03AM
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