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mexican butterfly weed seeds

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.

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As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Depending upon your order date, we may hold your shipment to combine it with other products on your order, if applicable. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

Transplanting Milkweed (Asclepias) Seedling Outdoors

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.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is one of our great North American native flowers with rich Indian and medicinal history. The brilliant orange blooms light up meadows dramatically, and of course, visits by butterflies are a bonus. This wildflower, also prized as a garden perennial, is not easy to grow, but once established, is a tough, dependable colormaker.

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!

Asclepias can be divided into two groups for plant care; Asclepias tuberosa with orange (sometimes yellow) flowers and all the other species with pink (sometimes white) flowers.

Planting Milkweed Seeds:

Find Your Planting Zone:

Oftentimes, Milkweeds won’t grow much their first season in the ground, so be patient. They are establishing their root system and crown. By the second growing season, the plants will begin to get bigger and look more robust. Asclepias species are an odd bunch and don’t behave like many other more familiar perennials. So be patient and accept their quirky nature.

Preferred growing conditions:

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Depending upon your order date, we may hold your shipment to combine it with other products on your order, if applicable. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 925-9387 or contact us by email.

Asclepias curassavica is commonly known by many names, including Mexican butterfly weed, bloodflower, and tropical milkweed. The milkweed genus, Asclepias, is named for the milky substance that the plants exude when cells are damaged. Mexican butterfly weed is native to the American tropics and can be found throughout North America as an ornamental plant. It produces eye-catching orange and red flowers in flusters at the tops of its stems. These blooms are strong attractants of a variety of pollinators.

Mexican butterfly weed is a controversial plant: although it can be a beautiful addition to some gardens as a food source for butterflies, it is believed to be harmful to monarch butterflies in particular. Asclepias curassavica can grow later in the year than native milkweed species, prompting monarchs to breed at times when they should be overwintering.

Facts, Benefits & Uses of Mexican Butterfly Weed

While Mexican butterfly weed can certainly sustain monarch caterpillars, its perennial growth leads to problems with migration patterns and health. Considering the fact that monarch butterflies are experiencing a steep decline in population numbers, it is important to consider the protection of this iconic species.

Mexican butterfly weed produces beautiful orange and red blossoms that are very attractive to butterflies. For this reason, it is a popular choice for pollinator gardens, bringing in bees, butterflies, moths, and even hummingbirds. However, planting Mexican butterfly weed outside of its native region, especially in range of monarch butterflies, is often highly criticized because of its negative impacts on monarchs.

Additionally, native milkweed plants in the range of monarch butterfly migrations die back after blooming. Mexican butterfly weed however, does not die back, which can lead to dangerous health problems for monarchs.