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Light Requirements: For the next few weeks, make sure the Milkweed is either in a sunny window, in a green house or under a grow light. Milkweed needs lots of sun and warmth to grow. If you’re using a grow light, make sure to lower the bulb closer to the pots or your seedlings may become leggy, as they stretch to the light. In our experiment, this happened to us. Ideally a sturdier stem is better. Cold stratified seeds should germinate and sprout within 10-15 days once planted. In total Milkweed from the day they are cold stratified to growth can take 40 plus days, so be patient!
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Germination: To start Milkweed seed we recommend starting inside, but before this happens Milkweed seeds need to go through a cold stratification period. Cold stratification is very important for the germination and growth of Milkweed. It helps break the seeds natural dormancy cycle. To do this, we recommend placing Milkweed seed in a damp paper towel or damp sand in a zip lock bag and place in your fridge for 3 – 6 weeks (30 days). Place in an area of the fridge, where it won’t get damaged. We taped ours to the bottom of a refrigerator shelf.
Once your seedling is planted, water it for a few days to get it established, but after that, the plant doesn’t need a lot of supplemental water. Only water if you have an unusual dry spell. Peat pots are nice to use, but you need to be sure there is no top edge above the soil line after transplanting. In dry climates, this will wick away valuable soil moisture. A small 2 1/2″ diameter x 3 in. deep pot is ideal. Asclepias are somewhat finicky native plants. So minimizing the time growing in a pot and transplanting them as young plants is the best approach.
Where to Plant: Milkweed does well in open areas with full sunlight exposure areas like fields, parks, cultivated gardens, roadsides, highway medians, and road sides. We suggest transplanting Milkweed when the plant is no larger than 3 inches tall. In most cases in transplanting, the Milkweed plant will go though some shock and could lose all its leaves. This happens, don’t panic. The plant is trying to establish its roots and will eventually grow leaves again. This is the main reason we suggest planting seeds in peat pots, because Milkweed roots are very sensitive. Peat Pots breakdown over time in the ground, which allows the milkweed roots to grows without being disrupted. We found this to be the best way to transplant. If you decide to plant in plastic containers, but make sure it’s deep enough for roots to grow. If you receive a plant already grown in plastic, be careful to take out the plant and not disturb the roots.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is one of our great North American native flowers with rich Indian and medicinal history. The brilliant orange blooms light up meadows dramatically, and of course, visits by butterflies are a bonus. This wildflower, also prized as a garden perennial, is not easy to grow, but once established, is a tough, dependable colormaker.
If you are planting seed outside, we suggest seeding in late fall, and let the Milkweed seed lay on the ground through winter. Milkweed seed will have a long winter of dormancy, so once the sun comes out and the ground warms in the spring, the seeds will germinate on their own.
Pinch the tops of the plants to induce a bushy habit and provide more flowering branches. Blood Flower herb seeds can be grown as an annual in cooler climates. Sow flowers seeds indoors and transplant outdoors. Mexican Butterfly Weed seed is also considered to be a wildflower seed and once established, it will bloom until fall frosts.
Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica) – Here are more Tropical Milkweed seeds that produce tender evergreen perennials. Butterflies love this plant, and it provides a great food source for them! Commonly called Mexican Butterfly Weed, Blood Flower or Tropical Milkweed, these showy plants have blooms in the colors or red, orange and yellow.
In addition to bees and butterflies being attracted to Bloodflower plants, they are also used medicinally. Milkweed sap can be applied to skin to remove warts. The roots and leaves were used to cure dysentery, suppress coughs, and to treat fever and asthma.
How To Grow Milkweed From Seed: Sow Butterfly Weed seeds early in the spring. Transplant seedlings outdoors after danger of frost has passed. Mexican Butterfly Weed plants require a sunny spot in moist, fertile soil. They are not as drought tolerant as other species of milkweeds. Keep the Bloodflower plants uniformly moist, but not saturated.
How to grow
The bloom season is long, lasting from early summer up until the first frost. The Tropical Milkweed herb is a tender perennial that if grown in containers can be wintered indoors for areas were there are freezing temperatures.
Asclepias can be divided into two groups for plant care; Asclepias tuberosa with orange (sometimes yellow) flowers and all the other species with pink (sometimes white) flowers.
Find Your Planting Zone:
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.