when to plant milkweed seeds in michigan

More milkweed in Michigan means more food for pollinators, and more places for monarchs on their migration. This is an all-around good idea for the garden. It's important to carefully choose the spot where you'll plant your milkweed as they will self-seed and spread rather quickly. Older milkweed plants are very difficult to transplant, so we do not recommend transplanting older, large milkweeds. A step-by-step resource to saving seeds and planting milkweed to help monarchs and other pollinators. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Fluffs of white appear along country roads in Michigan every fall – the seed pods of milkweed plants. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is a showier variety of Common Milkweed. In the second summer and for years to come you’ll enjoy bursts of blooms that are irresistible to butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It is about one to two feet tall, with glossy, lanceolate leaves that are arranged spirally up the length of the stem. Rototillers are often available for rent at your local hardware store for a minimal fee. You can plant the seeds anywhere. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. Help the birds, bees, butterflies & hummingbirds by planting wildflowers. It grows in dry fields, roadsides, waste places, and prairies; often in large stands, that can be spotted from a moving car. Show your Spartan pride and give the gift of delicious MSU Dairy Store cheese this holiday season! Poke a few holes in the lid and cover your container. The stems and leav… Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Make holes. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is a showier variety of Common Milkweed. You can plant them immediately this fall. The beautiful flowers of milkweeds produce pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Milkweed is the sole host for monarch larvae to feed on. Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed is the plant most people think of when they hear the word ‘milkweed’. After you’ve sown your milkweed seeds, you need to compact them into the soil (but don’t cover them!) If anything we sell fails to grow in your garden, we will replace or refund your order. After stra… Those of us with cold winters need to either sow our seeds in the fall or cold stratify them for spring planting. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is the famous orange milkweed species native from Canada to Florida. Starting seeds indoors in winter Create a patch of bare soil and water it so the soil is moist. It can be a challenge to grow but once established it will thrive for years to come and spread quickly. Use your finger to poke holes in the soil and drop a seed in each hole. Depending on the size of your area, you can either remove existing growth by hand and then rake the soil up before planting, or use a rototiller. You can plant them immediately this fall. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Container plants can be planted in spring, but it is advisable to wait until the threat of spring frosts has passed. program! To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Collect the silky seed pods as they develop. As the plants can be toxic; consumption of the plant protects caterp… Butterflies and bees can use your help in planting more of these plants. To donate, visit Monarch Watch and view a list of some Michigan Land Conservancy programs. Milkweed releases its seeds at the end of the summer. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. Michigan State University Extension offers the followings steps on what you can do. Many have adapted to different regions of the country and a wide range of climates and terrains, from deserts and rocky areas to marshes and open prairies. Fall Planting Milkweed Seeds – 10 Simple Steps! I hope this information helpful and thank you for using Ask an Expert. These little, fluffy seeds hold a lot of potential for monarchs passing through Michigan, and are important to many bees. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. The seed pods turn brown over time and are nice for adding winter interest to the garden. You can collect your own seed or purchase seed or plants to add to your garden, or any landscape in your community. The key is to make sure there is no existing growth in the area before planting, so the milkweed seeds won’t need to fight underneath the surface to establish their roots. Roll the seeds in a damp paper towel, or place them in moist peat moss, and then put them in a plastic bag. Common milkweed (Asclepis syrica). Prior to … Growing Milkweed From Seed: To start milkweed from seed, the easiest way is to emulate Mother Nature and plant them in the fall. It’s really personal preference. The nitrogen tells the plant to grow lots of leaves and stems, so don't fertilize common milkweed if you want it to flower. These three free-flowering varieties are useful in landscaping, too. Depending on your area and garden style, either method will work. If you’ve been thinking about planting fall milkweed this season, November is the best time for most of us to complete this simple garden task. You can purchase milkweed seeds and plants at the following places: Here is a table of commercially available milkweeds for Michigan. After clearly labeling the sealed bag as \"milkweed seeds\" and dating it, place it in a refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks. Once you’ve pressed the seeds into the soil, give the area a good watering to set the seeds. If you find yourself with more seeds than you can use, here are a few ideas: These little, fluffy seeds hold a lot of potential for monarchs passing through Michigan, and are important to many bees. © 2020 AmericanMeadows.com All rights reserved, Find the Right Perennials for Your Garden, Watch Our Spring-Planted Flower Bulb Videos, Watch Our Fall-Planted Flower Bulb Videos. Learn how to manage the spread of milkweed in your garden. It’s too warm for the ground to be frozen but too cold for seeds to sprout before winter sets in. This information is for educational purposes only. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. Planting vegetable seeds or transplants at the correct time is important for getting the most out of your garden. Winter Sowing Milkweed Seeds Part 2: Prepare Your Containers, photos of milkweed bugs and get more tips on saving seeds, Finding, Collecting, and Growing Milkweed, Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide. You have to take care of the seeds to make sure they will be viable for spring planting. You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. Planting a variety of native plants including milkweed … The beautiful flowers of milkweeds produce pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Once established, this native plant is a breeze to grow and requires little maintenance. Milkweed is one of the Monarch Butterflies’ favorite plants and will bring ... Spider Milkweed, is extremely drought tolerant and thrives in dry, fast-draining soils. Less water, less mowing, and no pesticides. Miss the window for fall planting? Collecting Milkweed Seeds. (Make sure you get permission before you go on any private land.). Grab a friend, bring a kid, put the dog on a leash and go out and collect milkweed seeds! Stepping all over the area is an easy way to do this, but if you’re seeding a large area you could also use a seed roller. If you do scatter them loosely by hand, come spring when the seeds start to germinate you may want to thin them out if they are extremely close together. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. It is a threatened species in the state of Michigan, and the main habitat for Monarch butterflies , which have seen an alarming population decline in recent years due to habitat loss and climate change. Photo by Duke Elsner, MSU Extension. It’s a convenient and … So how do you decide which varieties to plant in your garden? The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Plant the Seeds Indoors. So planting your milkweed seed in fall not only mimics how milkweed is planted in nature, but it eliminates the need for cold stratification as the cold winter months will do that for you. It will also attract beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden or meadow. You can plant milkweed seeds in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked, but they will need to be stratified for 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator before planting in spring for better germination. If you’d like to start preparing for spring the easy way, plant your perennial milkweed seeds (and plants) in the fall. Cousin to the common eastern milkweed, showy milkweed is native to areas west of the Mississippi, with its range extending into Michigan and Ohio in the East. Seedlings will emerge in spring, and the plants will grow both taller and larger every year. Their milkweed diet also makes them toxic to predators, which they show off in brilliant, orange-and-black wings we love to spot in the garden. Over 110 choices for fast color, such as poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and many more. Milkweed is one of the Monarch Butterflies’ favorite plants and will bring many winged friends to your garden or meadow. What To Do With Extra Seeds. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Before planting the seeds, soak them in warm water for 24 hours to ensure that moisture breaks through their hard shells and reaches their tiny embryos. This variety is extremely attractive to Monarch butterflies, bees, and other beneficial bugs. Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) is native to the Midwest and boasts light green/white blooms that illuminate in the moonlight. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Many species need to be vernalized (cold treated) before planting. October and November work well in Michigan – you want the soil to be too cold for the seeds to germinate, but not yet frozen. Because milkweed seeds are large enough to pick out and spread one by one, you can do this to ensure the seeds aren’t over-crowded. These seed packets will cover a 50 square foot area. But Milkweed is also a decorative and showy addition to the garden, offering up tufts of long-lasting blooms in the summer months. Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) produces purple/pink flower clusters that wildflower gardeners love. Milkweed seeds can be collected from existing plants or purchased from commercial suppliers. Swamp milkweed (Asclepis incarnate). Learn about varieties which help to replenish nutrients to your soil. Once established, this native plant is a breeze to grow and requires little maintenance. Growing milkweed supplies larvae of the Monarch with food and shelter, providing caterpillars food and a resting place before they leave the caterpillar stage and become butterflies. Get familiar with milkweed: there are some imposters out there. Butterfly weed, also known as butterfly milkweed (Asclepis tuberosa). Support local wildlife with native wildflowers. Why is this? All of the milkweed seed we handle at American Meadows is non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free. When emerging milkweeds have three to four sets of leaves, thin seedlings to 6 inches apart. Show your dedication to monarch conservation by registering your site as a Monarch Waystation. to help with germination. A showy variety of asclepias, Spider Milkweed's off-white blossoms surrounded in green, along with its shorter height (12"), make for a unique statement in the summer garden. It has flat clusters of bright orange blossoms and blooms from early summer to first frost in most areas. Step by step instructions on how to plant your wildflower seeds. 50% Off Spring-Planted Bulbs - Pre-Order For Spring. I planted several packets of milkweed seed for this blog and it took me less than an hour (including stopping to take photos). When selecting your Milkweed seeds, check the label to make sure they are neonicotinoid-free. Most milkweed share the same advantages in the garden: they thrive in all regions, tolerate almost any soil type, bloom in the early-mid summer, are deer resistant, and — of course — attract bees, butterflies, and more to the garden. The life cycle of Monarchs starts by adult Monarchs laying eggs on the milkweed plants. I like to use the eraser-end of a pencil to get ¼ in holes in my soil. Needs fast-draining soil and full sun. I like to store my seeds in paper envelopes, which are easy to label, or in jars if I have a lot of seed. Although you can plant Milkweed in the spring after cold stratification and starting seeds indoors, fall is the easier — and more natural — time to plant. Use the map tool to select a state and learn which milkweed plants grow in that area. Even if you don’t have enough room to plant milkweed, you can help by volunteering for seed collection trips with a local Land Conservancy, or by donating your seeds to other projects that help monarchs. Needs fast-draining soil and full sun. Additional information to certify your waystation, including kits, brochures and information, can be found at Monarch Watch, as well as the applications for Monarch Waystations and a guide to creating a waystation. Sprinkled among the grassy meadows and tracts of bittersweet and Queen Anne’s lace, is a rare plant species called Sullivant’s milkweed. Check out the Agribusiness Management B.S. Depending on the variety, flowers come in all shades of pink, orange, and white, fitting in with any garden style as long as you have a spot to really let it multiply and grow. For more tips on fall planting, see “Fall Planting Milkweed Seeds – 10 Simple Steps!” from Monarch Butterfly Garden. Planting local milkweed species is always best. If you miss the window for fall planting, the seeds can be planted in the spring, too. Wildflower seeds native to your region. Seeds need a three-month period of exposure to cold (cold stratification), so it is a good practice to plant seeds in autumn. Photo by David Cappaert, MSU, Bugwood.org. Michigan Native Milkweed Species. Click here to view our General Gardening Guides. Knowing your first and last frost dates will help you start your vegetable seeds at the right time. Perennial. If you live in a climate with a warmer winter, you can plant your seeds in either the spring or the fall. Choose a self-contained area in the garden that isn’t in the middle of an existing garden bed. milkweed for monarchs seed packets Monarch butterflies are attracted to the nectar of the Common Milkweed flower, consume the leaves as a food source and make their chrysalis on the plant. October and November work well in Michigan – you want the soil to be too cold for the seeds to germinate, but not yet frozen. Thrives in areas with cold freezing winters and hot summers. Types of Milkweed. More than 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to the U.S. and Canada. (Asclepias viridis). Sow the seeds in a sunny spot, perhaps in a corner of a flower bed, where you can keep an eye on them as they come up. For more tips on winter sown milkweed, see “Winter Sowing Milkweed Seeds Part 2: Prepare Your Containers” from Monarch Butterfly Garden. Cover and wait for spring! If that breaks your heart, and understandably so, plant some of those milkweed seeds in its honor so more caterpillars make their way in future years. Or, block out a corner of a garden bed to plant the seeds. Use old, plastic containers like yogurt containers. Be forewarned, however, that you will likely end up with butterfly … Bring envelopes or baggies and a marker so that each species can be kept separate. This part is easy and fun! If it is already freezing, it is unlikely that it would be able to mature into a butterfly and make it to the roost this year. Fluffs of white appear along country roads in Michigan every fall – the seed pods of milkweed plants. Perennial. Buy seeds and plant in fall, as they need cold temperatures for at least three months before they germinate. Or, if you prefer, you can simply throw them out by the handful. This is important because some seeds treated with neonicotinoids could harm or even kill pollinators when they feed on the plants. Gardeners should also cut it back to ground-level once a year. This Michigan native occurs throughout most of the United States and thrives in almost any well drained soil and produces a profusion of fragrant mauve colored flowers in midsummer. Many gardeners realize the importance of adding milkweed to their gardens to help the disappearing Monarch population. Put your container outside in a shady spot, like the north side of your garage. And that’s that! Milkweeds (Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. Once the … It will show up on the International Monarch Waystation Registry, and you can order a sign to teach your neighbors about monarch conservation. 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The summer months a variety of Common milkweed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) is the famous orange milkweed species from! Choices that will bloom in the bottom for drainage and fill with a thin, vertical habit. Important to carefully choose the spot where you 'll plant your milkweed seeds and planting milkweed seeds, check label. The gift of delicious MSU Dairy Store cheese this holiday season taller and larger every year neighbors Monarch. Second year and for years to come and spread quickly thrive for years to come tuberosa ) to first in. Michigan land Conservancy programs Spartan pride and give the area frequently after until... Garden or meadow help to replenish nutrients to your email inbox, visit:! Show your Spartan pride and give the gift of delicious MSU Dairy Store cheese this holiday season do. Use, here are a few ideas: milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate vertical growth habit right... 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To contact an Expert in your garden, we will replace or refund your order species of this herbaceous are!, protected by code 18 USC 707, large milkweeds and drop seed. Species need to be frozen but too cold for seeds to make sure they self-seed! Milkweed to help monarchs and other pollinators, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and more for. Cluster of silk to many bees cold winters need to either sow our seeds the. Special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707 from Congress, by! That illuminate in the moonlight, pointed seedpods packed with seeds, each on a leash go. Skip this step find yourself with more soil butterfly weed ( Asclepias syriaca ) produces purple/pink flower clusters that gardeners! Swamp milkweed ( Asclepias incarnata ) is native to the prairies of the stem idea for the that! Thrives in areas with cold freezing winters and hot summers a digest of information delivered straight to soil... Planting a variety of native plants including milkweed … Types of milkweed milkweed, extremely... Nature do all the ground work when to plant milkweed seeds in michigan germination second year and for years to come a pencil to get in...

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