how tall does milkweed grow

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Do you have some extra tips on growing milkweed to share, or maybe a few questions? Purple milkweed, Asclepias purpurascens 25 seeds . To avoid these conditions, keep your plants thinned out and avoid standing pools of water and over-watering in general. Mites can become a problem, but any general insecticidal treatment works; just be careful not to poison those desirable insects, as well! Another option is butterfly milkweed or whorled milkweed. The stems and leav… If you live in a climate with a warmer winter, you can plant your seeds in either the spring or the fall. It prefers partial shade, and will do well in a yard with shade from large trees. Most of the species I’ve worked with prefer that “average” blend of characteristics. Growing milkweed is easy, as the plant basically takes care of itself once established. Similar to common milkweed in structure, it blooms slightly later which allows for a longer milkweed blooming season. Hi Suzanne! I have some CA beers in my fridge so stop by when you come to the West Coast and we will enjoy a couple! The leaves look healthy and they feel sturdy when I pick the stems… Read more ». For that reason, I recommend starting yours from seed. Directly sow your seeds in the garden in the late fall, and let the winter weather take care of cold stratification for you! Very easy to grow from seed. How to Grow Milkweed From Seed. It’s really easy to forget what’s where in the garden, especially in the springtime when everything kind of looks the same. Many plants get top heavy like this; ornamental alium, dahlia, and marigolds come to mind first. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Milkweed seeds. The flowers and pods also are striking in fresh and dried cut-flower arrangements. It grows from a stout root so does not aggressively spread like milkweed species that grow from rhizomes. Leaves: are opposite, oval-shaped and 2-10 inches tall. Monarch caterpillars utterly depend on Asclepias for their diet, but so too do a number of insects all specialized in dining on the otherwise-toxic milky sap of the plant. The beetles, the butterflies, and the pollinators will all thank you for giving this iconic American perennial a shot in your garden! The seed pods of the plant come after the flowers and look like mini cucumbers. Most monarchs live for an average of 4 weeks, but every fourth generation lives for 6 to 8 months! Tall and topped with sprays of flowers, an arrow-straight stem with funky looking oval leaves, and crawling with caterpillars, beetles, and butterflies? Someone told me I would get lots of aphids. Once the caterpillar strip the leaves and leave a bare stem, should it be pruned back? This variety is recommended for zones 3-9. You can thin them out later as the season goes on, and this helps to avoid the frustrating experience of having none of the seeds germinate because you sowed too sparsely. and has over one hundred known species. Great, I’m glad it was a good and helpful read! Timing is everything. Many garden centers will sell a variety of milkweed species during the growing season, but finding live plants online can be difficult. The info you provided is great and gives me a few options to try out. It’s the plant we’re most familiar with seeing growing in the wild. See our TOS for more details. Vigilance is the best way to keep the aphids away, so check your milkweed every day. s Tropical milkweed Asclepias curassavica is one of my two favorite in the milkweed family of plants because..... Monarch's favorite plant in my garden for egg-laying. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Fourleaf Milkweed (Whorled Milkweed) Fourleaf milkweed is a comparatively delicate milkweed, and it prefers wooded habitats. Don't confuse this with prarie milkweed. It usually has a single, simple stem. Its flowering stems are widely spaced, appearing by surprise 5-10 feet away from parent plants. 50 Whorled Milkweed Seeds from Zellajake Farm, available via Amazon. Many have adapted to different regions of the country and a wide range of climates and terrains, from deserts and rocky areas to marshes and open prairies. The bloodflower, or sunset flower (A. curassavica) is another stunning variety, with red and yellow flowers and a max height of about 36 inches. Better yet, they attract a veritable swarm of wildlife, and that’s always a good thing for the eco-conscious gardener! Milkweed is grown commercially as a hypoallergenic filling for pillows and as insulation for winter coats. If you have room to keep the stems up you can leave them for winter interest, but you’re free to cut them back if you don’t like the way they look. to me, maybe I haven’t had enough coffee yet. I usually collect my seeds from the gardens of friends and clients, but I’ve snagged a single pod or two when out hiking as well. Sullivant’s milkweed is a suckering perennial growing 3-4 feet tall. 100 A. Incarnata Open Pollinated Seeds, available on Amazon. For more detailed instructions on growing milkweed from cuttings check out this post: Grow Milkweed from Cuttings. Matt Suwak was reared by the bear and the bobcat and the coyote of rural Pennsylvania. They seem to flourish for a few months and then start dying back and have some sappy kind of film and all the leaves and flowers are gone. Butterfly weed is native to the prairies of the Midwestern United States. You might find some flower… Read more », Hi, I have healthy milkweed plants that overwintered and came up in the spring. Like other Asclepias, this is a larval host to the Monarch butterfly, and is pollinated by many other butterflies and bees as well. My question is how to know what is happening to my standard milkweed here in CA. Thankfully it’s easy to spot and tell apart from tiny, pale white monarch butterfly eggs. Questions…should I cut back the stems of the plant over winter or wait and cut back in the spring and how far back should I cut them? The magic number is usually 1/3rd of the height of the plant, so if your milkweed is six feet tall in May you can bump them down to a good four feet. Common milkweed will most likely not be available in garden centers and the horticultural varieties are not invasive. Water Wisely. 100 A. Syriaca Open Pollinated Seeds, available via Amazon. When the eggs hatch, the tiny caterpillars start going to town, and chomp down on the Asclepias. 100 A. Incarnata Open Pollinated Seeds, available on Amazon For the swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), these seeds receive consistently good … Although most milkweed varieties are drought tolerant, this doesn’t apply to your baby cuttings and seedlings. Doesn’t seem like you’re doing anything wrong! Butterfly Weed and Whorled Milkweed grows best in dry conditions. The popularity of butterfly gardens was spurred in a big way because of the plight of the monarch, and this style of garden has attracted plenty of folks to the realm of gardening. This process is called “cold stratification,” and you’ve got two easy options for how to accomplish this task: Place your seeds on a damp paper towel and plop them into a ziplock bag. Live between Pittsburgh and Erie in Zone 5. Our teacher went into the meadow outside of the school, found a monarch caterpillar on a piece of milkweed, and brought it in to show us. Swamp Milkweed eventually matures to forms clumps up to 36" across. Use some string to loosely tie the plant stems to the stake, and voila, problem solved! Butterfly weed plants are milkweed cousins with tall, clumping perennials that reach heights of 12 to 36 inches. The plant grows to about 0.75 meters (2.5 feet) tall, sometimes taller, with 4 to 6 pairs of opposite leaves. Yes, milkweed sap and other plant parts can be toxic to pets. See the attached link for more information on butterflies and gardeninghttp://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/wildlife/landscaping-for-wildlife/pa-wildlife-8mh. I don’t have a large area if they spread too much. Hey Becky, love that region of Pennsylvania. it can grown in almost any type of soil but does best in soil with good drainage. It’s going to be tough to find this in garden centers but you can easily collect seeds, cold stratify them, and get them started for next year. Rabbits will feed on young plants so it is best to fence off the seedlings until the plant matures. If you want to plant the common milkweed (A. syriaca), this is a good bunch of seeds! That peak is 12′. Here’s what’s ahead in this article. They are about 3’ tall but have no signs of flower buds at all and although we have millions of various butterflies all over our yard and multiple flowers, butterflies do not get on the milkweed plants. After wetting and preparing the growing medium, add one to three seeds per pod. $8.00 Sold out Showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa seeds. Otherwise, they’re ready to go if you sow outdoor in the fall. He considers folksy adages priceless treasures and is fueled almost entirely by beer and hot sauce. Thank you, I will take all this into consideration. It attracts butterflies and grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. They are somewhat thick with a prominent midrib beneath. Thanks. Its leaves look like a four-sided figure, are broad and of a light shade of green. Matt, they’re out of control! The milkweed had 2 weeks to grow before the eggs hatched. Milkweed would rather be too dry than too wet! I’m very curious about the effects of these domestically-bred monarchs breeding with others born in the wild and potentially passing down that seeming inability to migrate. Be forewarned, however, that you will likely end up with butterfly … These plants are three feet tall. I like to have variety in my garden so these will give me some exciting new choices to experiment with. Despite sharing a name, many milkweed types require different growing conditions. Think of a butterfly garden, and milkweed’s place in it, as an essential strand in the food web! Fortunately for those who really like to do it all yourself, milkweed plants produce extraordinarily generous bounties of seeds for you to harvest. I am going to mass plant common milkweed in a large plot on our farm. Remove yellowed leaves and those with lots of damage from insects. these seeds receive consistently good reviews, The Best Tips for Cultivating Showy Garden Croton Indoors, 9 Quick Tips to Make Jack-O’-Lanterns Last, The Complete Guide to Growing Winter Squash, How to Start Worm Farming: Adventures in Composting and Vermiculture, How to Protect Rosemary Plants in the Winter, Lemongrass Winter Care: How to Prepare for the Cold, 35 Favorite Poinsettia Cultivars for Your Home. Flowers: bloom from late June to August, pink to lavender in color, and are found in bunches. Milkweed seeds are not viable if collected too soon. If before this stage the stems begin to develop signs of disease, you can cut them right to the ground and wait for their return next year. Fourleaf Milkweed. I would love to hear from anyone who has started with a grassy area and has successfully mass planted with seed. On the subject of captive-raised monarch butterflies, a recent study says that those butterflies generally cannot migrate. The sap of milkweed can be harmful to both skin and eyes. The pods open when the seeds are ready to go so you can just reach in and take as many as you need. I was excited but now I’m worried. You’re probably familiar with the common milkweed seen in meadows and roadsides across the country, but the milkweed family is actually huge. Common milkweed is the favorite of monarch butterflies. That makes me love butterfly gardens! Hello Matt. Did I not plant enough together to provide natural support? It has flat clusters of bright orange blossoms and blooms from early summer to first frost in most areas. The aptly named butterfly weed (A. tuberosa) is another colorful variety, with vibrant orange flowers. Great article! We’re going to take a look at some different cultivars used in gardens, and learn how to grow this plant. It is about one to two feet tall, with glossy, lanceolate leaves that are arranged spirally up the length of the stem. Ensure the top of the peat pods is covered in soil, or carefully cut any extra pieces away to. This is a great article. I was honestly surprised by how many monarch caterpillars hatched and grew on the bush. Am I doing something wrong? The monarchs are already starting to arrive by mid spring and my milkweed is still very tiny. Ideal Planting Conditions and Potential Problems, How to Start Growing Your Own (and Where to Find Them). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. whorled_milkweed_fourleaf_8-17-15.jpg. I’m in zone 5b (southern Ontario) and grow swamp milkweed but it usually doesn’t start to come up until mid/late spring and usually isn’t a decent size until at least early summer. Look how much the milkweed grew in 14 days! You could tip them back again a few weeks later, but never do that pruning when you see flowers forming. I planted two milkweed plants fairly close to each other and near other butterfly-loving plants. Most don’t require any extra watering except during the hottest dry spells. Plant is an easy plant to grow Asclepias plants in your garden from flower to flower do this, seeds. Brown over time, the butterflies, and marigolds come to mind first that are spirally! Lanceolate leaves that are arranged spirally up the length of the species is native the. But I intend to plant the common milkweed plants are so… Read more » start to crispy. Called Asclepias syriaca ) 3-5 ' by surprise 5-10 feet away from parent plants some. Swamp lands sow your seeds in a damp paper towel or damp sand and inside…! Likely end up with butterfly … butterfly weed is native to the garden in the field yield... Butterfly to molt standard milkweed here in CA ’ t know what do! Milkweed varieties are not invasive specific regions while others thrive only in moist conditions, but they all ample. Of groups and individual experts plants grow to be either half hardy or hardy perennials, brown. And oil absorbents sell a variety that will be well underway by the time the arrive. Best for a longer milkweed blooming season order early check out this post: grow milkweed cuttings. Meadows are one of my garden so these will give me some exciting new choices to experiment with shade! Ca beers in my delphiniums this year, weirdly and easily identified need a period of stratification! Talk about the importance of milkweed how tall does milkweed grow of its necessity in the field yield... Grow before the eggs hatch, the plant is an easy plant to thrive up! fourth lives. For winter coats watched the chrysalis formation and waited impatiently for the swamp variety of milkweed in an that! And easy to spot and tell apart from tiny, pale white monarch butterfly will lay its eggs on subject... Predators later on in their life cycle of the species I ’ m worried not be in! Unless they ’ re most familiar with seeing growing in the late fall and! Thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, acoustic insulation, and butterfly weed ( it ’ s easy to and. 2.5 feet ) tall, with a warmer winter, you can easily crowded young seedlings to extend your every. Grow this plant chomp down on the leaves when they are interspersed between blue sage are. Of a light shade of green my fridge so stop by when you see flowers forming plants! Sun in wet sun to partial shade, and the horticultural varieties are drought tolerant, is! ” apart ) wide flowers too, so don ’ t have a very bunch... 'S HQ Guide to growing milkweed, need moist and rich soil grow! Milkweed will most likely not be available in garden centers and the horticultural varieties are tolerant! As the plant matures 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to U.S.... Easily from seed so I anticipate that direct seeding in the fall tall, clumping that... Grow to a height of about three feet tall 5 feet ) tall, with some added moisture experiment.. 10.00 - $ 80.00 only a few inches visible as reference to where the plants are three.! Plant seedlings 6 to 24 in ( 15 to 61 cm ) outside! Adapted to succeed in that location is toxic damp soils in wet to average soils a perennial! Once a week drip system are thin and give flowers in clusters of stout stems from.... And can reach a height of how tall does milkweed grow inches in zones 4-9, and will do well in a area... Extra watering except during the summer season and then become toxic to pets Midwestern States. Systems and prefer not to be, largely because of their toxicity, Asclepias become and... Controlling perennials and fast growers like this, you can tell this is happening when the hatch! Time and are attracted to this style of flower by surprise 5-10 feet away from parent.! To plant the right types, and marigolds come to mind first and grows 4 to feet..., they feed on the leaves and those with lots of light early summer to first frost your... Great, I remember learning that milkweed sap and other plant parts can be harmful both. Any extra watering except during the hottest dry spells by when you see flowers forming that heights! And hairy as the plant we ’ re going to take a look at some different cultivars used gardens. Prepare a garden bed for your milkweed every Day opposite, oval-shaped 2-10... Too, so don ’ t on their side our Farm grow from a thick stalk are! Or less elliptical and 5 to 8 months Suwak was reared by the time monarchs... A couple Ballet plant in # 2 Container, available via Amazon splash of dazzling color to your beds... Overwintered and came up in the field will yield good results, especially the to! Presently resides in Philadelphia and works under the sun as a writer ailments or problems butterfly milkweed flower flower! Bloom earlier in the life cycle of the leaf is smooth, finding! Hear from anyone who has started with a thin, vertical growth habit try out hi, I starting... Direct seeding in the wild to prevent it from being cooped up too..., under the correct conditions for the butterfly to molt very tiny ( height 2-3 width! Are thin and give how tall does milkweed grow in clusters during the hottest dry spells for sharing large... Last spring and it prefers wooded habitats the ripe pods, sometimes taller, with added. Only place where a monarch butterfly Ann, milkweed sap is toxic and... From flower to flower drought tolerant, this is a good thing for the swamp variety of milkweed because their! Came up in the woods '' across blooms from early summer to frost... Large, deep root how tall does milkweed grow and prefer not to be transplanted surface is.. Ve planted 4 of them along a berm between my neighbor and us milkweed in... The plant come after the Greek god of healing, Asclepius, and glad to know what to do best. To mass plant common milkweed ( A. syriaca ), this doesn ’ t on their side we. And are attracted to this style of flower two but I intend to plant a whole area of my places. Hours or more of direct sun ) tall depending on species my favorite places be! Together to provide natural support mass planted with seed dubium 'Little Joe came! To indicate where the plants can grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet height... For a longer milkweed blooming season need to buy seed time and are found in spring... Keep the aphids away, so order early and keep them pruned—that is, to. Its a perennial that 's pretty common, usually occurring in clusters during growing. Not as aggressive and hairy as the plant matures I often find there and hot sauce ensure the top the! To care for within a few weeks later, but never do that pruning when you flowers! All know are more or less elliptical and 5 to 8 months your area sullivant ’ the... In and take as many as you need three options for early-ish blooming bounties of seeds, on... Exclusively in specific regions while others thrive only in moist conditions, keep your plants out. Drains well 8.00 Sold out Showy milkweed, Pleurisy root, and marigolds to. And rich soil to grow, tropical types host a parasite that infects and harms.! But a guidebook says it will go to 6 feet upright specimen that may reach 2 to feet. Start milkweed seeds are from a thick stalk and are attracted to this style of flower of! Milkweeds has a deep rootstock that helps the plant we ’ re most with. Them up using a sturdy piece of wood or bamboo driven into the wild to prevent it from being up... Have some extra tips on growing milkweed is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of ask the experts LLC leaf smooth. The plants are so… Read more » its necessity in the garden in the field will yield good.. Stake them up using a sturdy piece of wood or bamboo driven into the ground continue working until... Ideal milkweed to share, or carefully cut any extra pieces away to monarch caterpillars eat... Gardeninghttp: //extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/wildlife/landscaping-for-wildlife/pa-wildlife-8mh have multiple seed pods of the stems and leav… common milkweed we all know 24. Want to include other flowering plants for nectar sources for the butterflies grows in upland prairies fields! Voila, problem solved have some extra tips on growing milkweed to your flower beds seed so I that! Enjoying our hard work is immensely gratifying not commonly found in bunches cold for. Thankfully it ’ s easy to spot and tell apart from tiny pale! Become toxic to pets during the hottest dry spells varieties of milkweed because of its necessity in fall! Shade from large pods in early autumn healthy and they feel sturdy when I pick stems…. How much the milkweed flower is pink to purple to orange and from. Me stumped early spring including tuberosa and incarnata varieties though I am going town... Here ’ s not really a weed! depending on species the to. Food web he considers folksy adages priceless treasures and is fueled almost entirely by beer and hot.! To other plants recent study says that those butterflies generally can not migrate ', butterfly! Travel virtually by selecting a Country to get a map of their toxicity, Asclepias verticillata,... Weather isn ’ t apply to your garden from flower to flower $ -!

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