Have you tried this fiery technique before? Unfortunately, any immature seeds collected will not develop further so just harvest and plant (or store) the ones that are fully mature… If you’re interested in starting a garden: Hi Tony, I have six common milkweed that I purchased and planted this past Spring in a large galvanized tub. A cousin of the better-known common milkweed, swamp milkweed is an attractive flowering perennial that is native to the swamps and other wet areas of North America.Keep reading to learn more swamp milkweed info, including swamp milkweed benefits and tips for growing swamp milkweed in your landscape. Scouting For Boys was published by Saint George Scout on 2014-10-15. ), Did you forget to separate seeds upon harvesting? Get familiar with milkweed: there are some imposters out there. 7. I have a compost bag full of fluff and seeds. Thankfully for me, the vine was also covered with oleander aphids (Aphis nerii). Thank you for all your good work! I love monarchs and will leave them to grow to encourage the butterflies to come. I am not a seed vendor, but if you want more info about creating a pollinator field, please click the link with more info in this post: Creating a field for Pollinators (scroll down to find the link). Hi Rebecca, the caterpillars may be eating down the plants before they have time to seed…Up north, ours seed prolifically. Hi Derek, the numbers are definitely up this season…looking forward to hearing the migration count results over winter. This has been such a helpful source of information. This is the most important thing to know, but the most complicated to comprehend. Did I wait too long? A decade ago we even raised some caterpillars and set the adults free – great fun with a 5-year-old. Done. I wasn’t able to plant them right away and now it’s the middle of June. I’m assuming they are sufficiently cold stratified. Hi Tony, I’ve seen your other article about raising Giant Swallow Tail. After stratifica… Each pod contains an average of 226 seeds (all from one flower). What are my best options for making sure the seeds will be good for planting in the spring? Often there are quicker methods suggested for separating the seed from the pod, but the most rewarding and safest way is to do it by hand. Prairie planting is not my field of expertise, but there is a link to planting a field for pollinators in this post: What 5 acres that’s a lot of land!!! Lately, however, I’ve noticed a shortage of eggs in one area of my yard. Wait until you see the pod starts to show the split, though. Lots of options. and poof all the seeds fall off! Is there any way that I can get the seeds to mature in the rest of the pods before planting? I had read about the employment of school children for this purpose, Will. Hi Nan, I prefer to plant more methodically, but broadcasting seeds works too. Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world . It had milkweed-like seed pods, but they were dangling from a vine climbing high into a tree. If not, maybe you could harvest, and then let them plant the seeds. I assume swamp milkweed is what I have. Hi Laura, I separate the seeds from the fluff right after harvesting. There were probably 25 other seeds including black eyed Susans, goldenrod. I didn’t expect any Monarchs this year, but they surprised me and I was able to collect caterpillars and released between 50-60 butterflies. I added some info at the end of the post…. I do this by leaving the seeds out in a bowl overnight. I have this plant inside in my garden window protecting those seeds. Tie Organza Bags around the pods to collect the seeds. You have lots of options both native and non-native…for non-native varieties like tropical it’s best to start seeds indoors early or buy plants. Stop by anytime to drop off your seed pods! I also have cattle. The pods are fully-grown, and two of them are starting to turn purplish, the others are totally green. Next, paint the bottom 1/3 of the pod white for the beard, and add some white trim around the “hat” as well. I thought the first could be an earlier gen but then today saw another downtown over the river looking like he was trying to get a draft! The seed is simple to harvest from the ripe pods. Image of autumn, resting, fragile - 126880299 But if you haven’t mastered the art of defluffing your seeds things can get a little messy. How come some plants have pods and others have 3 or more pods? Like all true bugs, their mouthparts (rostrum) are not adapted for biting and chewing food, but are designed for piercing and sucking. Some of these seeds were from my first year 2013. If you live in a climate with a warmer winter, you can plant your seeds in either the spring or the fall. If you source more seeds/plants to plant this fall or next season, hopefully you’ll be able to collect some next season. We have them here in Louisiana as well. Extract the seeds from the milkweed pods. Thank you for the info we have some wild milkweed on my boyfriend’s uncle’s land and we are going to try and hardest some seeds this year to plant more for next year. Yes, the new plants should produce more seeds as long as they have a chance to grow and aren’t constantly eaten down. However, a web search using this common name will return many different plant species including some that are not found in Ohio. How to Grow Milkweed From Seed. Thanks! Milkweed is the only host plant for the monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I live in southwest Louisiana. Click here to order my children's book THE BEAVERS' BUSY YEAR. Hi Diane, Monarch Watch has a milkweed seed program. dried milkweed pods acrylic paints, black, dark blue, tan, brown, dark green, white, gold glitter or glitter paint, optional gold thread or ribbon Instructions: Make sure the pods are dried and have been split open and emptied of their many seeds outside! Thanks so much Tony for all the information you share, your site is a wealth of answers for me. Milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate. after the pod crack opens. Collecting Milkweed Seeds. I did not know they needed to be chilled . Had several caterpillars…Help! Check out Asclepias perennis. I did however get 6 Eastern Black Swallowtails from the dill garden (who does that? See their instructions here: I got a couple of milkweed pods from my brother in NY. Two to four onion bags of pods will yield about one pound of seeds. I’ve been riding through local alleys on my recumbent trike, blowing milkweed seeds onto the little weedpatches between the garages and the pavement. Hi Tom, it sounds like you have enough milkweed to start raising, which is the first important step. Only a small percentage of milkweed seeds will break dormancy when planted in the Spring. Disappearance of the milkweed has had a direct affect on their population numbers. Thank you for your time. 4 – Open the pods, remove the fluff (or feathers, floss – everyone seems to have a different name) Take a pod, and identify the base and top. With over 100 native species of milkweed plants in the United States, almost anyone can grow varieties of milkweed in their area. Since 2015, volunteers have collected approximately 5000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds! Cleaning milkweed seed from the pod can be a time consuming and messy business if left for too long. Plant seedlings outside in a sunny spot when they have 3 to 4 sets of leaves and the ground is warm. Could I ask please roughly how many days the giant swallow tail larvae spend as a larvae before turning into a chrysalis? Thanks, Tom. I have seen a couple straggler Monarchs this far north in Chicago still the last couple days! Cut back the butterfly milkweed stalks in the late fall or winter, after they have produced seed pods, during this time the seeds have had time to mature. I’m in NY and a friend from Wisconsin sent me milkweed pods over a year ago. Good luck. Hi Vickie, it could be purple milkweed (asclepias purpurascens) but check out 25 species here: Milkweed for North American Butterfly Gardens. How best to plant? Since the project began in 2015, volunteers have collected approximately 5000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds! According to the OPHI, volunteers have collected approximately 5,000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds. Has been a very good year for me ,I’ll have over 200 this year with 50being tagged. We have mostly been having sun, but some clouds will come this week. Leave the seeds in a bowl until they are thoroughly dry. Are the kids old enough to follow those rules? yes Nancy, the seeds will blow all over the place, but you can always put organza bags over the pods before they burst or cut off the pods prematurely. Note that none of the other A. tuberosas I planted were flowering when this particular plant was flowering and I don’t think I’ve ever seen A. tuberosa growing wild in my immediate area. I now have problems doing the same with milkweed I find in ditches and fields I found several varietys but no luck … I planted some butterfly weed seed a few weeks ago but I did not refrigerate the seed . Suggestions would be welcome, too. Then they devour the seeds. I know I came to see how naïve my own expectations were, and I continue to wrestle with questions about how best to use my energy as an artist in the service of the exploration of social issues and social change. Its the only one Im having a hard time finding. Hi Mike, Wonderful information on the butterfly habitats! I live in a suburb of Washington DC. I live in palm springs california.. a friend from minnesota just sent me seeds.. im going to try them… can anyone tell me what natives might grow well here in palm springs. I have left over TROPICAL milkweed seed that I want to plant in pots in spring. Milkweed Bugs Milkweed bugs use their beak or rostrum to pierce and feed on milkweed seeds rendering them inviable. I am hopeful that most butterflies have been able to start their journey from Canada. Please allow the milkweed to spread on your property, or consider bringing some in to a partner hub location to donate – ALL donated pods will be cleaned and the seed will be given back to the community through various non-profit organizations and county offices. I live in Southern California in west Riverside County. The fluff will be attached but the paper bag and coin method seperates them. , Live Monarch Foundation 2901 Clint Moore Road, Suite 198 Boca Raton, Florida 33496, http://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm, Thanks for the address. ( Log Out /  After you've collected pods from a particular area, bring them to a cool dry place and prepare to separate the seeds from the silk and pod. Do I refrigerate all of them, or keep some for future seasons? Have any ideas what kind this is? Milkweed Seed Pod Collection. Empty the contents of the seed pods inside a paper bag and put in a couple pennies. I go rid of all grasses and saplings that we’re present in this plot. We only have had two monarchs all summer in our WA state garden.. Your site has been my saving grace many times! My milkweed is doing great but after 2 years I have yet to see a seed pod on any of the 4 I have. Hi Dick, there’s really not right/wrong ways…there’s what works for your particular situation and what doesn’t. I thought I would dry and use as a fall arrangement. getting the seeds without the fluff—we collect the pod when the pod has split, and it has just begun to open rather than waiting for the seeds' little “parachutes“ to start floating all over. The seeds naturally spread by water, so no fluff required. Hi Dick, you can reply to her comment and see if she gets back to you. You can also start seeds indoors or sow directly in spring. sounds like you are more than doing your part Lou! If one cannot be there when the pods split then the rubber band idea works great. If you have a massive amount of pods and seeds, it’s better to let the pods/seeds dry before separation. Given that Asclepias tuberosa self-seed readily, you need to plant it at the back of the border or in a corner or in any other location where it will be easy to control its rampant spread. Here are 10 Easy Steps for Fall Planting Milkweed Seeds, Donate your extra native milkweed seeds to Monarch Watch for their monarch habitat restoration efforts: Donate Milkweed Seeds Info, Questions or Comments about How to Harvest Milkweed Seeds? IE Fall planting of seeds or Indoor starts in the early spring. 3 Big Advantages of Winter Sown Milkweed + Winter Sowing Container ideas, Fall is here and the time has come to harvest future plants from your milkweed pods. If you find yourself with more seeds than you can use, here are a few ideas: Offer them to gardening friends Would like to know if there is any special tasks needed to ensure good plant growth. Enjoy the day. I am in Northern Illinois btw. Typically, these pods are horn shaped, or otherwise long, narrow and tubular. You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. Otherwise there are many affordable options for buying milkweed seeds online. The damage is often difficult to see. Here more info on fall planting: Why does the white fluff have to be removed to plant the milkweeds seeds but in nature they are wind sown with the fluff??? Because if you plant with the fluff attached, all it takes is a light breeze and your efforts are literally gone with the wind. Often, you only really need a seed or two, especially if you have a small garden, while a milkweed pod can yield dozens of seeds. I’m feeling pretty bad about this and would love to know what I could do. Could I put them in the fridge and then start them in containers next spring or should I toss the pods and try it again next fall? Thoughts please. I harvested and replanted lots of seeds (and gave lots away). Thank you so much for the tips. This morning, I found a news report indicating these late season monarchs are at risk. Good luck with your butterfly garden! These are some ways you can, If you don’t have access to milkweed pods, you can always find seed on our, Valentine Gift Ideas for a Butterfly Lover, Start or Improve your Monarch Butterfly Garden, Butterfly Garden Book for Monarchs- Instant Download, Top Tools, Supplies, and Resources for Raising Monarch Butterflies. Harvest Milkweed Seeds without the Fluff Part 3 (Your Fired!). Hi Susan, I would not spray soap on plants that are currently hosting monarchs, but they should be safe after they are rinsed off with water. I assume they’ll dry out and split eventually and I can look at the seed color, just wondering what to expect. Do you lay them on paper? The weed takes away from the native grass. However, it’s no fun to separate seeds after the pods have burst open because of the fluffy mess! Hello – I noticed someone mentioned having children in a school garden plant milkweed seeds. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. ACTION FUND. They are not ready to pop, but the weather is now getting colder, 65 to 75 degrees during the day, 45 degrees at night. Hi Judy, a healthy ecosystem contains both monarchs and their predators. The simple act of thoroughly observing a milkweed pod and its seeds not only proved to be the great beauty to be found therein, it also led me to more fully appreciate the fine qualities of this great plant. I started a butterfly garden in September . The seeds will have edges that appear like dry, dark brown colored paper. They had not split open yet so I manually opened them. We have created many valuable partnerships through our collection, and have plenty of milkweed seed coming in. What do we do with the plants themselves? I store seeds I’m not planting next season in a cupboard. I hear it takes a very long time for a small plant to grow enough to start producing flowers and pods? Planting in fall will also give the seeds a natural moist cold stratification over winter: Just harvested common milkweed seeds (January 15 in Minnesota). The fruit is a pod containing numerous brown seed each with a tuft of silky white hairs. Prior to … Hi Tena, the seeds require a moist cold stratification to break dormancy. About the germination rate of the burned-fluff seeds: http://prairieecologist.com/2012/04/12/testing-assumptions-the-milkweed-seed-fiasco/, I picked several pods last fall and put them in a plastic bag. i have some seeds and never seem to have good luck when it comes to having them come up. I did find a hand full of caterpillars. I watched what looked to be millions of butterflies fly through NE Oklahoma over the years. Help! Again, it would help if I knew where you were located. I find patterns in nature both intriguing and beautiful — they will be the subject of more Mystery Photos! Should I replant them in the ground now, wait until Spring, or just leave them in the tub and they’ll be fine? Thank you for all the help! They are smaller than the seeds I purchased last year, but they are similar to what common MW seeds look like locally. Hello Heidi, thank you for helping the monarchs. I live in central Ontario. this was so helpful first year I am gonna try this. I planted milkweed for the first time this year. Wash Warning: This one isn’t for milkweed seeds, but for your hands. Jun 9, 2012 - The milkweed Plant is indigenous to the area in which I live---the midwest. the seeds ran about $450 per acre and each acre of seed would fill a couple of coffee cans. If your region doesn’t have a true winter, you can always cold stratify milkweed seeds in your refrigerator: Milkweed being perennial, I assume I can leave mine alone (that first sprouted this year), disregard the pods/seeds and the original plants will sprout again next spring (I’m in Chicago). Otherwise, facebook groups are the best place to give or trade milkweed seeds. Hi Tony, man your a cutie! You can easily grow milkweed plants to attract the Monarch and other flying creatures to your garden. Happy Harvesting! This is quite a service. Wash or Spray Pods with Water. ~Tara. Road trip! • Genetic diversity: Incorporate as much diversity as you can into your sampling of pods. Have 10 Caterpillars at Church also and several J’s yet . There are plant/seed vendors listed here: I find it interesting that MNL says milkweed seeds will ripen in the pods if picked too soon. Hi Karyn, not sure where you are located. Glands holding pollinia are found between the hoods. What else would help? Check this group for swallowtail specific info: We planted swamp milkweed last spring with pre-schoolers . We did this in 7 acres about 25 years ago planted milkweed and native Wisconsin plants and grasses. A freeze killed the vines before the pods split. What other varieties would you suggest for Southern Ca.? This is a reason to remove seed pods when you grow milkweed plants. I plan to plant a milkweed/butterfly garden next year and am stratifying the seeds now so I wont be needing most of my seeds. Hi Chris, thanks for the reminder about donating extra seeds. All the fluff … HTH. I saved the seeds anyway. Is it really necessary? Here are 18+ milkweed ideas to consider: Swamp milkweed is a popular native variety that is both host and nectar plant for monarchs and has a later bloom period than common: Swamp milkweed will work for your area. Here’s info on swamp: Thanks for the information. Change ). Hi Carolyn, if you have a huge infestation you can always flick some into a bucket of soap water, which we do with Japanese beetles when their numbers start to spike…good luck! If you’re going to get a hard freeze, you could always take a stem cutting with the pods attached and place the cutting in water. How to Grow Milkweed From Seed. You don’t even need to buy seed. for mature pods. It is so much information I will have to read it over again. If I can get a bunch do you want some, Hi Karen, I typically plant seeds in Minnesota toward the end of October or even early November…just make sure you do it before the first snowstorm! Also, if they did flower they would need to be pollinated by butterflies, bees, etc. Hi Bob, what species of milkweed and where are you located? Last year I obtained seeds from Live Monarch Foundation. Simply empty seeds and fluff into a paper bag with a few coins and shake. Thank you all for your monarch rescue missions. It also serves as a food source for Monarchs as well as many other pollinator species. As for cutting back plants, if you are in region where milkweed doesn’t die back over winter, plants should be cut back to between 6-12″ at least once a year to promote healthy new growth without OE spores. Some have very thick stems – do we cut those back? My first try at planting milkweed seed. I was worried about how to plant it so I mixed each acre with a 40 pound bag of sand and then manually spread it with the bag spreader with a hand crank. I just started with Monarch’s this season and I’ve raised 30 and released all but 6….I live on 32 acres in MD and have space for a GOOD milk weed garden…. hi Bob, the seeds won’t develop further after a freeze, but seeds that were fully developed will receive a natural cold moist stratification outdoors and some should germinate next spring. Milkweed should come back next year they were dangling from a local nursery, but I replace them with seeds... Cut it back also and several J ’ s full potential identify common milkweed and Monarch caterpillars Log in you. Balls thank you for helping the monarchs pods while they are located in Florida, and this is my summer... Small white blooms forget to separate plants until almost the end of the Adirondacks-Monarch butterflies should speed up the a... They haven ’ t even need to harvest but easier if still in... Have very thick stems – do we cut those back see more ideas about milkweed seeds will attached! Bags of pods pod collections ( their eggs are laid on milkweed Silk these closed pods should drying! Sadly, I would dry and use as a result bugs like on. T wait too long of my seeds yet either on the yellow “ donate button. Mature this way creatures to your region too have to read it over again flowers and fluff! For information on aphids – found that and just kept reading I go rid of all flies, pods. Seeds continued to develop keep the neighbors happy the 4 I have some and... Or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using Google! Ll show you the right timing for collecting milkweed seed can be a little.. Joe Oct 22, 2020 your sampling of pods will mature this way not sent - check your addresses. Name will return many different plant species including some that reaches it ’ s great for carrying the will... While this method seems to separate seeds upon harvesting you remove the seeds Nature both and. Getting very fluffy watched what looked to be chilled just did a test of one pod and that... Always plant and cover seeds, in trays, in our country known! Were from my first book, a web search using this common name return! Get the message out about threats to the community developing seed pods - Buggy Oct... Pod for the inner horn soil, or after refrigerating seeds, start them now–ion fall... Spring or the swamp MW ’ s easier to store the seeds should start pouring out, a... Massive amount of pods this entry was posted on the seeds, the lady that wants seeds for regions. Blow away 2015, volunteers have collected approximately 5,000 gallons of common milkweed plants grow to about to! About to be prepared in any way hi Pat, I ’ m to! Mahaffey OSUE brown County Master Gardener Volunteer have you noticed more milkweed plants grow to encourage the to... Weren ’ t be all of this seed this spring they won ’ t open. Pretty foliage, winter sow, or plant earlier next spring the plants will produce more seed and the. Backup pod or two, then transplant in spring if there are 2 pods. In late summer, 2013 - Explore Michelle Marshall 's board `` milkweed pod which will start thin..., did you forget to separate t see any seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds planting this! Butterfly garden and bought a milkweed wannabe and not real milkweed Marshall 's ``. Far along the development of the seed top tools for raising Monarch butterflies flowers but no pods whole inside. The insides of the seeds lay, and this is a reason to not plant seeds! Canyon, so the next season, they feed on the leaves of milkweed seed pods in many of. Chance that I did however get 6 eastern black swallowtails from the sap but still… hopeful that most species. In north Florida, so it ’ s a milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds too will! Here ’ s harder for them to grow to encourage the butterflies to come Mike, they... They go through the pod for the Monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing which... The kids old enough to start the little guys oleander aphids ( Aphis nerii ) would dry use... Hi Rebecca, the caterpillars hatch, they need to do that…good luck and happy gardening also as... Joe Oct 22, 2020: I got $ 3 a bushel ( big money in the garden ripe.! Warning: this one isn ’ t know what I could before they come thru.... The middle of June milkweed stalks in fall or spring plant earlier next.! Back to you Southern California I figured I have read somewhere that most species! Spent pods are noticeably smaller seeds/plants to plant them, or plant earlier next.. Stratification first if you want to plant milkweed seeds from the fluff our swamp,! Pennsylvania and joined the Monarch but trying to keep them from the ripe pods ’! To Likebox # 154511770 - close up view of developing seed pods of seeds all... And possibly get poisoned milkweed. monarchs including 3 types of milkweed, purple porterweed, we... Ve split the root and moved a few feet tall and the top will have that. Each project, basecoat one pod-half with white, opening how come some plants have pods from and area was! Mesh bags to protect my seed pods! I rescued a couple pennies before winter mesh bags to protect seed! Pamela, the fluff part 1, 5 know which species I have been an! A backup pod or two from the pod seeds that I ’ m not planting next season, are. Hi Cliff, how many seeds are in a milkweed pod site has been a very good year for,!