Hello friends. I have some wild milkweed about to bloom. We’ve been here five years. The first year there was one plant, now several. I don’t want to try to separate, or make cuttings now and mess it up for the butterflies unless that’s how it’s done. I’m pretty good and getting plants for free but I don’t want to mess this up. Anyone had success at making new milkweed?
The first picture is today, second was 6-8-19
I haven't personally tried more than scattering milkweed seeds from dried pods as we find them in the area, but this Monarch Watch guide says a little about propagating from stem cuttings, if not from root division (although it does say that can be done). This Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center guide talks about root cuttings. And this one from SFGate (whose guides I've used, with and without success -- the latter being very common in my propagation experience no matter how good the instructions -- in the past) says root cuttings taken in the fall are the easiest way to propagate your orange milkweed. Hope that helps! Will you let us know how it goes?
"Do the best you can in the place where you are, and be kind." - Scott Nearing
I read that butterfly milkweed has deep tap roots so it doesn't transplant well. So far I have successfully grow many of them in my butterfly garden from seeds. I collected dry seed pods in late autumn when they are about to split. Separate seeds from the silks and store in the envelope. I wait till Jan or Feb to stratify the seeds in the fridge. Don't need to do this too early because if you mix the seeds with moist starting mix, they may germinate in the fridge. I plant the stratified seeds in tall containers in late March. Germination rate is over 95%. Seedlings have very long tap roots, I saw them growing down 5 inches before the first sets of true leaves appeared. That's why I use 4" pot to grow them instead of the shallower growth cells. Usually I transplanted the seedlings in ground till May to avoid slugs. I also broadcasted lots of seeds in the garden bed but I haven't seen any growing. I guess the slugs eat them all. New plants bloom on the first year, albeit with smaller and fewer flowers. Last year, I raised three generations of monarch butterflies on the milkweeds. I can't wait to see them again this year!
We have milkweeds, and monarchs, in the Dominican Republic, although ours are a different species, the Asclepias curassavica that is disrupting monarch migrations when planted in California where it does not belong. In the Islands it is native. I was able to transplant one -- it was growing on a gravel road, and I knew it would be destroyed next time the road was maintained. Those tropical ones are tough -- it showed no reaction to the transplanting, and although I cut back the top to compensate for root damage, it went on to flower in a matter of weeks.
Unfortunately, Dominican dairy farmers do not approve of milkweed, believing it to be deadly poisonous to cows. As much as I want to help the monarchs, I also understand good relations with the community. I took out the milkweed after I saw that it was scattering seeds all over the countryside.
Hi, Anne, the pouchshould work pretty well for saving seeds. Not only it keeps the seeds in it alsokeeps bugs out too.
I have a butterflyweed in my garden that I keep a close eye on it, it produced 30 seed pods last year, with nearly 100 viable seeds in each pod. And there was another wild one nearby along the interstate. When I checked on it, there were only a few pods left, and there were holes on them. Some bugs were eating the immature seeds inside.
I got two more varieties of milkweed growing wild in the yard and I am going to try the organza bag methods to secure as many seeds as possible.
Hi Joe. Given the size you’ve described I think now is a perfect time to transplant. I dug some up earlier this spring. It has a very long taproot that really needs excavated. Trying to tug only breaks it. Ive been able to get them into pots and keep in the shade. They looked bad but have rallied as of late. It is very hot and dry so I probably won’t attempt a full transplant until fall.
Recently I’ve discovered an endangered milkweed on my property, Carolina Climbing Milkweed!
That’s a tough call. Mine grow on the side of a hill and they were all singles. It may be better to attempt to tease apart now. It seems like as they get larger they could get tangled. I’m not even sure they wouldn’t coexist in perfect harmony that close.
I’ll walk down there later and see if I have any older plants that are super close. If I find any I’ll get back to you.
Joe, I am so glad that transplanting worked for you!
After 3 or 4 years my swamp milkweed had never bloomed and they were a magnet for ant farming aphids so I just quit watering them Now, no ants, aphids, or milkweed, at least not on the table where the pot had been.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
I found these milkweed-looking plants by the back of the house. The flowers are very large, I have seem low growing milkweeds by the road quite a few times. This species just looks like a beast compared to those low growing types.
There is a honeybee (Apis) on one of the flowers if anyone wants a general size comparison.
Bumblebees, honeybees were all swarming the plant, otherwise I would have taken better images. Rather not get stung today!
I plan on collecting seeds from this plant. If it is a perennial type, I might let it do whatever it wants.
Hi, In the fall I have just taken the seed pods, dug a small trench, cut the pod open and scattered the seeds in the trench and covered the seeds. Next year there were milkweeds. Then I let nature take over and continue to have a larger patch.