Glad I found your site. I’m assuming they were there in the winter time. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Choose a clear spot or clear a spot by removing any rocks, mulch, or other plants that may impede the growth of the seedlings. Will Butterfly Milkweed Grow In Shade? There are, of course, different procedures if you plant in winter vs. in the spring (and it has been a spring-ey February). I live in Ohio so I will get a good winter and would like to winter sow them, probably right after Christmas. It can also be done indoors. Cold Stratification can be done naturally by planting the seeds in the fall so they experience the cold of winter. Since I have the seeds in the freezer, does that count toward stratification and, if not, can I at least cut down the time in the refrigerator? In short, the cold temperature breaks or softens the hard outer casing of the seed so it can sprout easier. Over the past two cold, wet springs (in Minnesota) we have had problems with M&Ms…mold and moss! If they are allowed to get any bigger, the long taproot will get too disturbed during the transplant and they may not make it. and the rewards can be quite substantial when spring rolls around. Are these still the super butterflies that live 6 months? All of them grow into plants that are host to the larva of monarch butterflies and Queen butterflies. As an alternative, you can start your seeds indoors, 4-8 weeks before the average date of last frost. Containers for baked goods like cakes, muffins, and cookies, 10. Kim is an expert on all things milkweed and monarch, even supplying … For keeping milkweed seeds from … Three different milkweed species are for sale. and the rewards can be quite substantial when spring rolls around. I’m sure covering with hardware cloth will work, but the seeds might not germinate as quickly…good luck!

  • I collected my milkweed seeds last fall, made sure they were dry and placed in zip baggie. Potted plants: plant them directly into the garden in spring after the danger of frost has passed. Don’t just moisten the soil: really douse it with water. Almost everyone in North American can benefit from winter sowing milkweed seeds. Its such an easy thing to do and so helpful. I’ve taken to squishing them, but it’s really starting to take a toll on the plants. tropical milkweed) don’t require this. If so, check out my resource page:

    Milkweed Plants and Seeds for North American Butterfly Gardens

  • Hi Tony,

    I started a butterfly garden a few years ago and this past summer collected all my milkweed pods to donate and give to friends to help promote native host plants for Monarchs.

    My concer however is that I gathered all the pods at the summers end and they’ve been on a shelf in the house since. When seeds are subjected to cold before gradual warmth, this breaks their dormancy and causes them to sprout. Here’s more info:
    Common Milkweed for Monarchs

  • Good morning!
    Just read through steps one and two – live in Northern MN.
    Will try the “winter method” with my seeds, in February.
    Do I leave the seeds in the baggies for now? Common milkweed grows well in regular garden soil. I’ll only have room for2-3 little pots but can I plant them outside after May 31? I let seeds sit in a bowl 24 hours before storing them.

  • Hi Matt, thanks for the great info. In the meantime, keep you Milkweed seeds in a dry, aerated envelope and store in a dark place for the Winter. Starting Milkweed Seeds Indoors If you want to start the plants indoors, place seeds between moist paper towels inside a sealed plastic bag or plant the seeds directly into peat pots covered with a sealed plastic bag. Disposable food storage containers with snap-on lids, 3. I will be sowing on Sunday! Read that saga here. There is some info on this post about feeding/releasing adult butterflies. In winter it will disappear but will grow back in late spring. I will be doing this process too. Growing Milkweed From Seed: To start milkweed from seed, the easiest way is to emulate Mother Nature and plant them in the fall. Thank you, Phyllis

  • Hi Cindy, over two weeks it takes just 1-2 caterpillars to finish off an entire milkweed plant. Is there any way you can help me out?
    It is pink and smells sweet.
    The seeds need to be in the frig for a month starting at the end of December?
    Thank you