One way it is so successful at doing so is by "creeping, horizontal roots" that may spread to make a single plant grow up to 10 feet across in one season (Anderson, 1999). Choose a spot where you can leave the stalks free to spread. Water: Medium to wet. Swamp Milkweed is a native perennial that grows to about 4’ tall and is very showy. Asclepias speciosa, (Showy Milkweed). Perennial. Harvest Milkweed Seeds without the Fluff Part 2. It is native to the American tropics and has a pantropical distribution as an introduced species.Other common names include bloodflower or blood flower, cotton bush, hierba de la cucaracha, Mexican butterfly weed, redhead, scarlet milkweed, and wild ipecacuanha. ... How do milkweed seeds spread? Sun: Full. Showy milkweed seeds need 30 days of cold stratification to improve germination, Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep. July 9 at 9:00 pm. Asked by Wiki User. Monarchs like it. Along the horizontal roots, buds are produced that will grow into a new stalk. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is considered one of the best varieties for an ornamental garden as it does not spread by underground runners. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. Spread: 2-3 feet. Plant milkweed — it’s the sole food source for monarch caterpillars and is attractive to many pollinators for its nectar-rich flowers. The white milky … Milkweed is best grown in naturalized areas and meadows as it tends to spread and take over more formal garden settings. General Description . The plant is prized for its early summer flowering. Large pale pink to pinkish purple flower clusters up to 3 inches across provide a plentiful nectar source for a variety of butterflies. Seeds require cold moist stratification. Rabbits will feed on young plants so it is best to fence off the seedlings until the plant matures. Milkweed can spread via their rhizomes (roots) and via seeds, so if you need to control the size of your patch, go ahead and remove the seed pods. Sitting atop upright branching stems, clad with stiff, lance-shaped, taper-pointed leaves, the colorful umbels give way to attractive seed pods in the fall, which persist into winter. Purple milkweed will grow two to three feet tall and wide. Deadheading can also prevent self-seeding if you don’t want the plants to spread. It forms a clump and does not spread. If you plant several milkweed species and spread out patches, some will thrive without pests or disease issues while some will have more problems. It likes wet, clay soil, but it also prefers full sun. Hardy to zone three, this can reach one to four feet tall. Milkweed is one of the Monarch Butterflies’ favorite plants and will bring many winged friends to your garden or meadow. Good for many pollinators : The bright orange flowers of Butterfly Weed are attractive to many varieties of butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Milkweed will naturally reseed and spread over time. (See more on that below.) It seems to send runners and pop up a distance from where it … Bloom: July-August. The only solution here is to remove and destroy the infected plants before they spread the ailment to other plants. In addition, the plant sends out underground runners to start new plants. Showy milkweed is a lovely plant if you have the space for it or the tolerance for its tendency to spread! Butterfly milkweed is a hardy, durable perennial, reaching about 2 feet in height while maintaining a nice rounded habit. Gardening is a continuous experiment. If you are growing milkweed in zones outside of USDA 4 to 9, you will want to leave the seed heads to mature and reseed the area or, alternatively, cut them off when brown and dry and save the seed to sow in spring. It can be a challenge to grow but once established it will thrive for years to come and spread quickly. We plant some in containers, but most is planted in the yard/garden. Milkweed is versatile Common Milkweed can get quite tall 4-5' when it's mature so you want to put it in the back of your flower beds if the other garden plants are small. Asclepias sullivantii (prairie milkweed) Similar in appearance to common milkweed, but less aggressive because it does not spread by rhizomes. You can harvest the seeds to plant them where you'd like. This is a well-mannered plant. Attractive and robust, Purple Milkweed tends to spread less aggressively than other milkweed species. You can keep it in check by plucking off all the flowers before they turn into seedpods. Photo by Emma Pelton While you can certainly buy milkweed seed from a variety of suppliers, harvesting milkweed seed from local ecotypes is a great way to ensure that you are working with plants that are well adapted to your climate and soil conditions. Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) This native occurs throughout the West, Southwest and the Central states. Its flowering stems are often widely spaced. Swamp milkweed, as the name suggests, grows best in moist, wetland areas. You may also want to plant in a pot rather than directly in the soil, or plant the plant in an area where it has room to spread. Showy milkweed is less likely to spread than some species. The plants spread naturally by wind-borne seeds and by creeping roots that spread out slowly under the ground. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 6, where it grows as a perennial. 2 Responses. Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is an erect, clump-forming perennial prized for its brilliant clusters of fragrant, lilac-pink flowers, which bloom continuously for weeks from mid to late summer. Because common milkweed can be weedy and difficult to remove, care should be used to establish the plant only in places where spread can be tolerated. For More Information. I don’t have a large area if they spread too much. Asclepias tuberosa, the butterfly weed, is a species of milkweed native to eastern and southwestern North America. Milkweed seeds have silk parachutes and fly with the wind. Leaves 2 inches long by 1/8-inch-wide appear on new growth but soon drop. It prefers partial shade, and will do well in a yard with shade from large trees. This species is closely related with the common milkweed, A. syriaca, with which it sometimes hybridizes at the eastern limits of its distribution.These species are similar in appearance and growth form (tall and robust), but can be distinguished by the layer of fine white hairs on speciosa and flowers that look like small crowns. Milkweed growing in an urban rain garden. This coarse plant features hairy, erect stems. A sunny back corner is ideal. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. There is also climbing milkweed which is invasive but I like it because the small flowers are fragrant. Use a pair of pruning shears. Because common milkweed tends to spread, it is best for a larger garden or meadow where you don’t mind extra plants popping up. Here is a species by species breakdown of milkweed species that are available commercially in Missouri. Showy Milkweed seeds and plants for sale. Description Desert Milkweed, Asclepias subulata, has slender gray-green stems that grow vertically to 4 feet from a woody base.The plant’s spread can reach 2 feet or more. You can plant milkweed starter plants purchased at specialty nurseries. Dividing & Transplanting: All Milkweed, and swamp milkweed in particular, develop a deep tap-root, so we do not recommend dividing or transplanting milkweed plants once they've been established in your garden or meadow. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the best known of the 100 or so milkweed species native to North America. Many people like milkweed for those reasons as well as for its fragrant, sweet-scented blossoms. It grows from a stout root so does not aggressively spread like milkweed species that grow from rhizomes. I have the pink milkweed and don't mind it. Any species in the milkweed family will do, but the easiest to grow is the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. There are three milkweeds native to Maryland: swamp milkweed (Ascelepias incarnata) 3-4'/2'; butterflyweed or butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa). Some advice has suggested plants can be cut back to the ground twice during the growing season to limit the spread of disease, and that plants should be removed late in summer so as not to interfere with migration. Simply empty seeds and fluff into a paper bag with a few coins and shake.The coins help to separate the seeds. Anne Arundel County Maryland. Germination can occur as quickly as one week but may take longer. How tall does milkweed grow and do they spread? Milkweed yellows phytoplasma is a more serious issue identified by malformed, yellowish growth and branch dieback. Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) produces purple/pink flower clusters that wildflower gardeners love. Kris says. Similar to common milkweed in structure, it blooms slightly later which allows for a longer milkweed blooming season. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. Milkweed plants are critical to the monarch butterflies survival, whose population in … Growing milkweed. 5. Asclepias curassavica, commonly known as tropical milkweed, is a flowering plant species of the milkweed genus, Asclepias. To avoid these conditions, keep your plants thinned out and avoid standing pools of water and over-watering in general. When in flower it is covered with bright orange blossoms that make a statement in the garden. Swamp milkweed – Swamp milkweed can tolerate extra water, but does well in average soil. They tend to spread easily in most gardens. Thank you. Another great choice is whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) as its white flowers and skinny leaves provide an aesthetic difference to standard milkweed appearance. Common milkweed needs elbow-room as it is an aggressive suckering perennial growing 3-4 feet tall. It occurs in openings and adapts to partial shade. Growing Swamp Milkweed. As you read on the habitat page, milkweed is a weed that invades crops in the Midwest. The name “common” fits the plant well because when not in bloom, it goes pretty much unnoticed, growing humbly along roadsides, in fields, and in wastelands. A great choice for butterfly gardens, meadows, prairies and for natural settings. It does spread but so far has not caused me a problem. Sometimes the fluff may have already started coming out of a pod you want to collect. Asclepias syriaca Common milkweed. Like other Asclepias, this is a larval host to the Monarch butterfly, and is pollinated by many other butterflies and bees as well. With tropical milkweed so readily available, what’s a gardener to do? PLANTS Profile - Asclepias syriaca, common milkweed; See other Plant of the Week Asclepias species… The plant grows readily from seed and spreads quickly by deep rhizomes. Milkweed for those reasons as well as for its early summer flowering as the name suggests, best. 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