Most milkweed seeds start to germinate in 7-10 days. Flowers occur at the top of the stem and on stalks from leaf axils. It’s not necessarily always the type of milkweed they choose, but the condition of the plants at the time of the visit. It appears, in my area, this may be a preferred type of milkweed. The many varieties of milkweed plants bloom with both subtle and bright colors, and the whole milkweed plant is vital to the life cycle of Monarch butterflies as their sole host plant, and has also been used as a food source by Native American tribes. Wondering what could be wrong? Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators, Asclepias speciosa: showy milkweed, showy butterfly weed, creek milkweed, Greek milkweed, Asclepias speciosa also attracts checkerspots, hairstreaks, honeybees, hummingbirds, painted lady butterflies, pale swallowtails, sphinx moths, queens, tiger swallowtails, variegated fritillaries and more… (If you know of others, please comment below.). The spiky pink and white flowers are fragrant and long blooming. If you want more milkweed plants, you can easily collect the seeds in the fall and sow them elsewhere in your garden. In our garden I’ve seen the most honey bees on non-native tropical milkweed. Is this ok or recommended to do? I thought they liked poor soil, but I’m not sure what the problem is. I have always went out and cut the stalks down to ground level at this time. As the plant matures the seed pods can be picked when they are about 1 inch long or less; as the pods increase in size, they also increase in bitterness and alkalinity. For warm weather varieties (like tropical), I don’t refrigerate, but just soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting. Put the seeds and paper towels in a plastic bag and seal it shut. What do you think? Yet, it is often not even considered by many gardeners, perhaps because of the word “weed” in its name. Dig holes that are slightly deeper and 1-2 times as wide as the root ball of your plants. I moved some into full sun this spring to see if that makes a difference. Showy milkweed (A. speciosa) pods, seeds, and floss. I still have Monarchs flying about and many caterpillars. Add in some goldenrod or black-eyed Susans to complete the look. Hello Tony! in its pot. Hi Thad, eggs and caterpillars can both be hard to see on milkweed so it’s best to check thoroughly before discarding stalks. There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Seeing as it doesn’t drop below 12 degrees at night here in the winter and the days are in the 20s, what is the best way to germinate my seeds as I need many more plants as soon as possible. And while you’re at it, why not learn how to grow other native flowers like columbine and purple coneflower? Any ideas? This is an exciting time of year! Most species- with the exception of swamp milkweed- prefer dry and at the very least well-drained soil. Now, I’m reading about butterflysome and getting excited. Monarchs are beautiful, orange and black-winged butterflies native to the Americas. HI Tony, Can showy milkweed be grown in pots? The plants grow to around 90cm (36") tall, with greyish green foliage topped by spherical clusters of pink flowers. After you’ve sown your milkweed seeds, you need to compact them into the soil (but don’t cover them!) Plant milkweed in your garden and you’ll get to enjoy lovely colors, enchanting fragrance, and the happy sight of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds hovering around the flowers. Prepare a planting hole that's twice as deep and twize as wide as the root ball of your milkweed plant. Occasionally, they will be bothered by aphids or whiteflies, which you can hose them off with a strong jet of water. Milkweed seeds require cold stratification. Hi Pamela, gardening is always an experiment and there are a variety of factors that will determine how many butterflies you will attract. They also like common milkweed and butterfly weed. Hi Charlene, I tried speciosa cuttings last season and they didn’t take. I don’t want to introduce an invasive species. Milkweed is a perfect nectar-rich plant for a butterfly garden. Hi, I have showy milkweed in my garden but I do not have any caterpillars eating them, no eggs being laid that I can see but a few Monarchs did feed on the flowers this year. It might work out better for you, but I would check with a local nursery or gardener that grows it…good luck! Once they find you, they’ll keep coming back. Hi Kris, this really depends on what space you have available and how many plants you have. Also, I have a small dog…are they a problem….poisonous? Showy milkweed leaves are slightly toxic and impart this toxicity to the feasting caterpillars- giving them their primary defense mechanism! Vinca has no difficulty there. Start checking on your garden area in the spring. We don’t see a lot of honey bees in our region (lots of bumble bees though) I know that honey bees like the milkweed on this page (speciosa). This species ranges from the Midwest to the west coast and north into Canada. USDA Zone? The instructions do not say anything about a cold treatment but other things I’ve read say they should be refrigerated for 2 months. Sap milky. I have a lot of showy milkweed (asclepias speciosa). Before actually sowing the seeds, you can mimic the winter conditions that break down the seed coat to improve germination. For the purpose of helping Monarch butterflies, you should plan to plant in groups to make it easier for the butterflies to find the milkweed. I just bought a showy milkweed in a garden center but they said it was a water garden plant so I put it in a water garden. Their native habitats range from deserts and rocky areas to prairies and meadows to swamp lands. Hi Felicie, if you dig deep to get the entire tap root, fall is a good time for transplanting. Just follow the spacing guidelines and you should be good…. I love in a townhouse and wanted to plant some milkweed in a large planter for my front patio. Do you think the milkweed will survive in a large planter? All are perennials in their native climates, but some- like tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) – are annuals if grown in northern regions. You can do this by scattering them on the surface of your prepared soil and covering them lightly with more soil to keep the seeds from washing or blowing away. Will be prepared next time one passes thru. It is a native wildflower for any central west and western gardener looking to put out a buffet for loads of beneficial insects. Is there any chance of the rhizomes growing under a (six-foot wooden) fence and invading the neighbor’s yard?