• Hi Edy, for seed sharing I highly suggest facebook groups. Peroxide? I have an event called ‘Super Sow Sunday’ that coincides with the superbowl…makes it easy to remember. Nonetheless, there still may be an issue. Our dogs have only ever sniffed it. By growing native milkweed plants in my own yard I can share the value that the garden has to butterflies, birds and bees. Asclepias fascicularis (Narrowleaf Milkweed) is a flowering perennial boasting attractive clusters, 4-5 in. I have not laid eyes on any monarchs flying around. And thanks for the idea of mixing host with nectar.
    My tropical milkweed is moving along and I have common milkweed but I thing my common is too young to flower this year . Is it impossible to grow it in a container, or would it not do well? Here’s more info on winter sowing:

    Winter Sowing Milkweed Seeds

    • Great advice! To direct sow, plant seeds in debris-free, well-worked soil that has been deeply watered. (For that matter will ANY milkweed plants starting from seeds in the coming spring be big enough to host next summer?) The most common species that we grow at TPF, in order of popularity, are narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), showy milkweed (A. speciosa), and Kotolo milkweed (A. eriocarpa). of Michigan . At the first sign of growth next spring, dig up the returning second-year plants, trim the roots, and place them in pots. I have none now and no eggs. Most milkweed species do best in full sunlight, so choose an open area with lots of sun. Asclepias curassavica blooms all season long so it works great in containers. I’m located in northern Iowa. When a plant was stripped, I moved the larvae to another backup container plant–and kept rotating. In the Fall we put the plant in a heated garage and this Spring we took it out . For indoor use, plant the seeds just beneath the soil surface using a rather deep pot, as they have a long taproot. Narrowleaf milkweed does best when planted in-ground. Quantity must be 1 or more Size Quantity. Even though they’re small, they grew before my established plants came up, which I’m glad for, since monarchs have been sighted in towns up my way. This was the first time I had a chance to raise so many. I have already planted in my gardens lantana, black-eyed Susan’s, coreopsis, blanket flowers, lavender, snapdragons and I have New England Asters, catmint and salvia in pots. I was so happy to have gotten these seeds to grow for my Monarchs. Asclepias Incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) This is probably the best option if you want to stick with natives varieties. I have never overwintered milkweed outside, but I know some people have success by moving pots to protected areas of the garden, and using straw or leaf mulch. I’m not sure how you cold stratified in your refrigerator, but I used this method with great results:

  • I have lots of milk weed growing in my pots and its doing fairly well.it is not flowering yet but is getting quite tall..im so excited…i plan on june 5 to pick up my catepillars and eggs and transplant them to my garden in hopes to attract more of these beautiful creatures

  • Hi Tony,

    I started a couple of clumps of swamp milkweed in a very large pot last summer. Last winter we purchased five one-gallon pots of narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) from CNPS East Bay’s Native Here Nursery (NHN) in Tilden Regional Park and planted a milkweed patch in our back garden.This June we found three small monarch butterfly caterpillars on the milkweed, but they had attracted a number of predatory paper wasps. Or would it be safe to say that as long as I keep them separated. Think about how long you will be growing milkweed in a particular container…will it be for just one season, or the next several?

    If I have something new to share I’ll come back.

  • Last year we had a swamp milkweed in a pot on our deck. Are there precautions or suggestions you use when working with milkweed? Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. I do have tropical milkweed seeds so will do containers with them. Like you said, after a good wash they’re ready for new life! So I’ll probably sacrifice these baby plants for caterpillars instead of trying to find a permanent place to transplant all of them. But most of the cats have survived and are munching away happily. We were very surprised to see a bird take the chrysalis as we thought birds didn’t eat them. Monarch populations are dwindling because Milkweed plants are being destroyed by large agriculture and popular landscaping practices. I am happy to hear you are having so much success…raise on!

  • Tony, I’ve read about milkweed being poisonous. I would like to share with others who want to get started growing them for the Monarchs. Unfortunately, the incarnata “Ice Ballet” and Speciosa seeds I planted over winter did not germinate. About Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) 48 Nurseries Carry This Plant Add to My Plant List; Narrowleaf milkweed or Mexican whorled milkweed is a flowering perennial sending up many thin, erect stems and bearing distinctive long pointed leaves which are very narrow and often whorled about the stem, giving the plant its common names. The invertebrate conservation group The Xerces Society recommends native milkweed species. Good luck!

  • Helo everybody, I have a lot of questions about milkweed in Brazil. I’ve seen swamp plants growing in continuous growing climates and they don’t look happy. Plant the seedlings 1-2 feet apart. Narrowleaf milkweed plants are drought-tolerant and require little care once they are established. I have decided to pot my three swamp milkweed so I can move them around to different garden areas and pollinators I will plant common milkweed seeds (after the first killing frost?) I’m growing here asclepias curassavica, incarnata, cancellata, fruticosa, verticillata, speciosa, purpurasens. Our informal natura l stratification trial with showy (milkweed) and narrow leaf milkweed (A. fascicularis) in southern Oregon revealed that seeds began to germinate after syriaca is supposed to grow in zone 9 (based on hardiness zone designation) but I’ve never talked to anyone that has reported thriving common milkweed in south Florida. However, all died over the winter. I live in Florida, the 10b gardening area. Water well the first month to establish. Cuttings from the mother plant rooted and are growing well. If you are in areas where the tropical milkweed will grow, plant them in the pots they will grow in and plant them, pot and all, in the garden when you are ready. Check out in-depth information on garden pests at the. Can tolerate boggy soils in winter and dry periods of drought in summer, as well as salty coastal soils. I pick the leaves off but it still goes to the next leaves up the plant.

    On a side note I did release 25 monarchs in March/April. I highly recommend the container gardening concept for Monarchs–and thanks to Tony whose how-to-raise Monarchs has been such an inspiration and source of information. If you try planting outside, I would suggest giving these northern varieties partial afternoon shade.

    You could contact a grower with a greenhouse in your region to see what they recommend for growing plants that prefer northern climates. Alternative ideas for sterilizing plants would be spraying down stems with a 10-20% bleach solution or using a hydrogen peroxide mix for sick and fungusy plants. Mine in both places are doing great. If I use a really big pot and grow lights could I grow A. Curassavica continually? Voucher specimens exist for the Dominguez Slough (now the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve and the location of Mother Nature’s Backyard) and other local areas. Best confined to a pot because of its invasive tendency. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list of milkweed container gardening ideas, but these are some of the options gardeners have reported the most success with…happy gardening! I use a slow release fertilizer to give the plants extra nutrients. When should I start those seeds?


    • Hi Betsy, I typically start tropical milkweed seeds a couple months before avg last frost. We grow 16 varieties and our dogs have never touched any of them…that being said, some dogs are more destructive in the garden. It also grows shorter than swamp milkweed so a potted plant will fit better in a large caterpillar cage, should you decide to raise monarchs. If they survive and grow to be fairly strong, I’ll donate them to a friend of mine who owns 5 acres where A. eriocarpa is native. 2 in Containers and 8 in my garden. I didn’t expect much from them, but I soaked them for several days, and they have germinated and are growing nicely. I planted them in pots in May and they are only a few inches high. I put the containers, with their residents, into mesh butterfly enclosures on my screened porch. Whatever appeals to you and whatever works…you might also want to try mixing a milkweed plant/nectar flower in the same pot.

      • Hi Tony

        I always buy a 12″ or larger and reuse the ones I get from nurseries when I buy from them and I also take from the curb on garbage day why through them out if they aren’t cracked right of course I wash out real good before I use them. (Thinking new seed from a different seed source might be in order).


        • Hi Lynne, sorry to hear you are having issues with the perennial milkweed varieties. Direct seed or transplant. Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. And other species are in cold stratification yet: variegata, hirtella, tuberosa, amplexicaulis, fascicularis, viridis and exaltata.

          Many thanks for all ofyour assistance!

          • Hi again, OE is a major problem in your region extra precautions are needed to stop the spread of OE compared to our raising process up north…using the wipes suggested in this article or spraying down the plants after use with a 10-20% bleach solution should kill more spores than if you just used water. I live in IL and am starting to get containers ready for milkweed seeds so they have time for their cold treatment. So I’m hoping they’ll grow fast and that others will follow real soon. these are transplants about 6 weeks old and 24″ high. Here are the Land Trust's tips and tricks for growing milkweed from seed: Local seeds work best. Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators. Narrowleaf milkweed is a perennial flower native to parts of the western U.S. Plant seeds during the cool season of Zones 9 and 10. By the Fall, I had three decent sized clumps. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects. The nutrient situation in a container is already a bit difficult to balance.

            • Hi Patricia, we’ve used cedar mulch for years with no issues…

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While not required, this helps keep the soil areas with cold winters, transplant in late when. For perennial containers…replant in a particular container…will it be for just one season, we use 10 or 12 pots!

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