Milkweed Seed Collection

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SKU
AM017188
Looking to create a pollinator oasis in your garden or meadow? Our Milkweed (Asclepias) Collection is the perfect choice! Comprised of 4 of our different Milkweed varieties, this collection blooms in all shades of pink, white, orange and green in the mid-summer garden. It offers a fragrant feast of blooms for pollinators, including butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, which will delight both the gardener and the ecosystem. These Asclepias varieties also make for gorgeous cut flowers and can be brought inside for unique, fragrant summer bouquets.
Zones 1 - 10
Ideal Regions
Northeast
Southeast
Midwest
West
Southwest
Pacific Northwest
Advantages
Attract Butterflies
Attract Birds
Bee Friendly
Low Maintenance
Fragrant Flower / Foliage
Good For Cut Flowers
Great For Mass Plantings
Multiplies / Naturalizes
Light Requirements
Full Sun
SizeCollection of Packets
SKUAM017188

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

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.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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What's in this Mix?

Our Milkweed (Asclepias) Collection is comprised of one packet each of:

  Botanical Name Common Name Life Cycle Color Height Bloom Season
Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed Perennial Red 48" Summer
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed Perennial Rose, Purple 72" Spring, Summer
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed Perennial Orange 36" Summer
Asclepias verticillata Whorled Milkweed Perennial White 24" Summer
Plant Information
More Information
SKUAM017188
Common Name
Butterfly Milkweed, Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed
Botanical Name
Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias syriaca, Asclepias incarnata, Asclepias verticillata
Item Package Size
Collection of Packets
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Ships As
Seed
Coverage
covers approximately 100 square feet
Non-GMO
Yes
Neonicotinoid Free
Soil Moisture
Dry, Average, Moist / Wet
Soil Type
Sandy Soil, Loamy Soil, Clay Soil, Drought/Dry Soil, Well-Drained Soil, Moist/Wet Soil, Acidic Soil
Wildflower Mix or Specie
Mixtures
Ideal Region
Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest
Zones
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Advantages
Attract Butterflies, Attract Birds, Bee Friendly, Low Maintenance, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Good For Cut Flowers, Great For Mass Plantings, Multiplies / Naturalizes
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada
Yes
Planting & Care

Understanding Milkweed (Asclepias) Seed & Germinating

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.

Growing Indoors

Planting In Spring: Once the 30 days are complete, it’s time to plant the cold stratified Milkweed (asclepias) seeds. We recommend planting in 2-4” peat pots. Fill peat pots ¾ of the way with seed starting potting soil and gently add water. Water should be able to drain through the peat pots. Once the soil is damp, place 1-2 cold stratified seeds into each pot. To finish, place 1/4 inch of soil on top of the seed.

Planting In Fall: If you're planting Milkweed seed in the fall, let nature do the cold stratification for you! There is no need to place your seeds in the refrigerator before planting, you can plant seeds directly into the soil after there have been a few frosts in your area. This allows for the seeds to remain dormant for the winter and come up in the early spring. Clear away any existing growth and using your index finger to measure, create 1.5" holes for each Milkweed seed. We recommend spacing seeds about 4-6” apart. Place a seed in each hole and cover. Water thoroughly.

Watering: Gently water the planted seed to give additional hydration. The best way to water is from the bottom up. Use a flat pan under the peat pots and add a half inch of water to the bottom of the tray. Don’t over water as it can cause fungus. Water every day or every other day as needed, the best way to test the soil dampness is to touch it. If the soil seems dry then add water; if it’s wet, wait for the soil to dry out to water.

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!

Other planting options: Place dry seed (not stratified) in seed starting soil and plant in peat pots under a grow light or in a greenhouse to germinate seeds. The success rate for this is low and more difficult to accomplish. If you choose to use this option it can take months for the seeds to germinate.

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.

Transplanting Milkweed (Asclepias) Seedling Outdoors

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.

When to plant: Soil moisture and temperature are very important when growing Milkweed. The best time to plant Milkweed is in early spring after the danger of frost has passed. If you plant seeds late in the spring, the seeds may not grow due toCommon Milkweed Field Grown germination time and temperature. Common Milkweed seed doesn’t germinate over 85 degrees.

Caring For Milkweed (Asclepias) Plants

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.

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