Readers ask: When To Plant Milkweed Seeds In Illinois?

What time of year do you plant milkweed seeds?

Soil moisture and temperature are very important when growing Milkweed. The best time to put in Milkweed plants is in early spring after the danger of frost has passed, while the best time to plant milkweed from seed is in late fall – this allows mother Nature to take care of the cold stratification for you!

Should I soak milkweed seeds before planting?

In an effort to improve germination rates, many gardeners place the seeds in packets made from paper towels and soak them in warm water for 24 hours prior to planting.

How do you grow milkweed seeds in Illinois?

Steps to planting milkweed

  1. Clear out any weeds or existing plants and water the soil.
  2. Place germinated seeds about 12 inches apart and 1 to 2 inches deep.
  3. Cover with moist soil.
  4. Put flags or bamboo sticks near your planting holes and mulch with straw.
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Can I just scatter milkweed seeds?

Milkweed seed can be planted directly in soil, or started indoors. 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. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established.

Does milkweed come back every year?

These native milkweed are perennials, meaning they come back year after year. Their aerial parts (flower, leaves, stem) die back but their rootstock remains alive throughout the winter. Cut back milkweed stalks in the late fall or winter, after they have produced seed pods and these seeds have had time to mature.

Does milkweed flower the first year?

In general, milkweed may not flower in the first year of growth, because it is investing its resources in growing a strong root system. Luckily, monarchs will lay their eggs on milkweed even if it is not flowering! The caterpillars eat the leaves of the plant, so your milkweed can still be a host plant without flowers.

Is milkweed easy to grow from seed?

home (with seed purchased from our shop!). As a grower, I must admit that milkweed is one of the easiest plants that we grow …by far. Its predictable and uniform germination makes it an excellent candidate for first-time seed sowers. The first, CRITICAL step is to wait until we get warmer temperatures.

What can I plant next to milkweed?

A few companion plants that come to mind include Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), coneflower (Echinacea), Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia), bergamot (Monarda), goldenrod (Solidago), ironweed (Vernonia), and various asters.

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How many milkweed seeds should I plant?

Sow 2 to 3 seeds in a pot filled with seed-starting mix, cover with ¼ inch of mix, water lightly and set under lights. Germination takes 7 to 10 days. Plant seedlings outside in a sunny spot when they have 3 to 4 sets of leaves and the ground is warm.

Is milkweed poisonous to dogs?

The Pet Poison Helpline reports that milkweed is a moderate to severe poisoning in dogs and cats, which means get to the vet as soon as you suspect your pet has ingested the plant, or even butterflies or caterpillars that eat milkweed.

Can I plant milkweed in Illinois?

Photo © 2017, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Milkweed seeds can be planted in either fall or spring.

Does milkweed need full sun?

Most milkweeds require full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours a day). Because they self-seed readily, locate your plants in a part of the garden where you can better control their rampant spread, such as at the back of the border or in a corner.

How deep do you plant milkweed seeds?

Once the seed is broadcast, work the seed into the soil to a depth of 1/8th inch. This can be accomplished by flipping over a garden rake and lightly moving the seed and the soil/mulch. Straw may be added but is not necessary. Often time, straw introduces weed seed that competes with the milkweed plants.

Do all milkweed plants have pods?

All milkweed species develop a seed pod and they look very similar.

How do you grow milkweed in containers?

Use a large plastic container for ease of moving and winter storage. Use a light-colored one that is deep, as root systems of milkweed plants can grow large. Some have large taproots. A rich and well-draining soil encourages best performance of the plants.

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