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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asclepias Tuberosa shortly after germination
Butterfly Weed is a host plant for the Monarch Butterfly. That means that migrating Monarch Butterflies will lay eggs on Butterfly Weed plants.
Starting Butterfly Weed Seed in Pots
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I have never found a fatal poisoning, but there have been documented corneal poisonings (blindness) over time . So, the sap of all Milkweeds can cause blurred vision or blindness. Keep this in mind when handling the plant, or cutting them down in the Fall.
I would just leave the pods on your butterfly weed plant until they ripen. I don’t think transplanting it would make a difference. Also, butterfly weed plants are super hardy, so frost won’t hurt the plant or the seed pods.
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Butterfly weed seed are white first, and they turn brown as they mature. The white seeds are not mature enough to grow, so don’t harvest them until they turn brown.
Butterfly weed seeds ready to harvest
Mike the Gardener says
Kyle R. Crocker says
Amy Andrychowicz says