Simply scatter seeds evenly in a prepared bed. Then cover seed lightly with a quarter inch of soil and water gently and deeply.
When seedlings do emerge, remove the plastic bag and place the flat under a fluorescent lamp in an area where the temperature remains a steady 60° to 65° degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Grow Butterfly Weed Seed Indoors
The Dispatch shares that the Perennial Plant Association named the butterfly weed its 2017 perennial plant of the year. They shared…
You may get less than stellar results in one part of your yard and superb results in another.
Growing Asclepias tuberosa seed is very cheap, and butterfly weed flowers during the first growing season.
If you see caterpillars crawling on your plants and eating the leaves, do not kill them! These are likely either monarch caterpillars or the larvae of another type of butterfly.
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The orange or yellow blooms go well with purple coneflower, Russian sage, catmint, and rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan). It also looks good with ornamental grasses and other native plants like goldenrod.
Butterfly Weed Care
Besides enjoying the display butterfly weed puts on, you can also use some stems for cut flower arrangements. The seed pods that develop in late summer and fall are very decorative and make a unique addition to flower arrangements.
Plant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Select a spot that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. Amend soil with compost if needed but little other preparation is required.
A little known fact is that monarch caterpillars feed only on milkweed species. Other plants can provide nectar for the adult butterflies, but without butterfly weed and other varieties of milkweed, the caterpillars can’t survive.
You can plant it as a border around a vegetable, fruit, or herb garden, and it makes an excellent plant for a native wildflower garden or meadow. Plant it with other perennials that feed pollinators at different times of the year to support them throughout the whole growing season.
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.
Snip off the pod using pruning shears. Slice lengthwise along the edge using a utility knife. Pry open the seed pods. Scoop out the seeds and fluffy matter inside and place it in a bucket.
Transplant the butterfly weed into a permanent bed in spring just after the last frost. If planting butterfly weed in clay soil, dig in 2 to 4 inches of compost to lighten the soil, or consider building raised beds to increase drainage.
Watch for germination in two to three weeks. Turn off the propagation mat one week after the seeds sprout. Move the pots into a cold frame outdoors or against a south-facing wall with noonday shade.
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.
Butterfly weed and milkweed seed pods may be harvested and planted to support Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Butterfly weed grows well from seeds, which must be harvested in late summer and either sown immediately in the garden, or started in spring after a lengthy chilling process. The seeds are viable and will germinate with little care, although they must be planted at the appropriate depth to ensure successful sprouting.
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.