Posted on

butterfly weed seed pods

We have ordered a variety of native flower seeds from Everwilde Farms, which you can order right from Amazon through our link on our RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS PAGE. (We may earn a small commission when you purchase through our links, at no cost to you. This helps support our website.)

These small orange aphids (also known as Milkweed aphids) will suck sap and nutrients from the stalks. These orange or yellow bugs on your Butterfly Weed will not harm the plant. They are just very ugly.

Purchase Seed

Butterfly Weed is easy to grow and establish in full sun and well drained soil. It may take a year to get fully established, but after that is will look great for decades.

A Tussock Moth feeding on Butterfly Weed

RELATED =>> Learn how to test if you have well drained soil here

Leave the bucket outdoors for two or three days to let the fluff blow away. Stir the seeds occasionally to loosen more fluff. Do not worry if some of the fluff remains, since it won’t inhibit the germination process.

Arrange the starter pots on a propagation mat near a source of bright, indirect light such as near a partly shaded south-facing window. Set the temperature on the propagation mat to 86 F during the day. Turn it off at night.

Before you begin to harvest the butterfly weed pods, sterilize your cutting tools. Dip the blades into a full-strength household cleanser, such as Lysol or Pine-Sol. Repeat between cuts to prevent the spread of diseases.

Water the butterfly weed seeds whenever the compost feels barely damp when pressed. Apply the water by the spoonful or use a spray bottle to keep from dislodging the seeds.

Place the butterfly weed seeds in a plastic bag filled with 1 cup of moistened perlite. Store the bag inside the refrigerator for three months. Mist the perlite with water every few days to keep it from drying out completely.

Asclepias tuberosa is not a good plant for container gardening. It has a tap root (which helps with the drought tolerance) and generally does not like to be disturbed. When transferring from a nursery pot to the ground, disturb the root ball as little as possible.

However, Asclepias tuberosa seeds will break dormancy after time. Our seeds have already broken dormancy and will germinate readily within a week or two after planting – no cold stratification needed.

Butterfly Milkweed Characteristics

Butterfly Milkweed grows about 1-2 ft high and forms clumps. It is a very well-behaved garden plant. In my South Carolina garden it rarely spreads by seed but it has been known to do so in other gardens. Beautiful bright orange blooms appear in June then occasional blooms will occur throughout the summer.

Like most milkweeds (but not all), Butterfly Milkweed seeds must be cold stratified for a period of time to break dormancy but only if they are fresh (just harvested). They can also be winter sown or fall planted if you are using freshly harvested seeds for growth the following spring. If cold stratifying indoors then plan on stratifying them for at least 30 days.

Monarch butterflies use many different varieties of milkweeds to feed their caterpillars. Butterfly weed is one that they will use but it is usually not their first choice. In general, if there are other varieties in your garden they are likely to lay eggs on them first.