I don’t know much about swamp milkweed, since it isn’t native to my area, but I did find this: swamp milkweed propegates from rhizomes (in addition to seeds) so it will keep growing year after year if you don’t let the seeds disperse. About mid August I start letting them all go to seed. Sorry I can’t be more help, I just can’t find an answer to my question. Should I cut off flowers from my Milkweed or wait till October? If Monarchs lay their eggs at the wrong time, the eggs hatch infested with a parasite. While milkweed can grow quickly, planting species local to your region and researching a bit about growing patterns is a good way to ensure it won’t take over your yard. Maybe not this season (depending on where you live) but it will probably come back. I’m so afraid they won’t come back!! We used only really plant Asclepias subulata but we’ve noticed that it doesn’t really provide a whole lot of forage for caterpillars. Since milkweed has the word “weed” in it, chances are it will come back. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants, and the hatched monarch larvae need milkweed leaves for nourishment. This upright plant grows to 5 feet tall. I’m sorry to hear about your milkweed incident. I too was nervous but was VERY pleased! We live in Missouri and keep our milkweed watered during the dry, hot summers but other than that I don’t know what kind of maintenance is best. Milkweed plants are known for their puffy flowers and long stalks. milkweed might pose fewer problems in the northern monarch breeding range because it dies back naturally when it freezes.”. Crownbeard (Verbesina virginica). How low to do I cut them back? It’s easy to grow your own Milkweed! If so, how and when? Yesterday they ate everything and today, I cleaned and replaced food with fresh cuttings from the same found space I’d fed them leaves from before. All the old leaves fell off, but now i am getting new leaves on the nude sticks and new leaves at ground level. It’s natural for it to lose its leaves and stems as it is a herbaceous perennial. Stress is the usual culprit. I live in Florida and I just had a seed pod open. She has written two novels, "Blind Faith" and "Under the Influence." Not sure what happened. I’ve heard differing opinions on how far back to cut it. Spanish needles (Bidens alba or bipinnata) 1. This will help prevent the spread of the pathogen that is killing Monarch caterpillars. Hi live in the CA Bay Area, and have about a 4′ x 25′ patch of native showy milkweed that is flowering and covered with aphid. Florida Association of Native Nurseries – Save Our Monarchs: Plant Native Milkweed . chapmanii, sempervirens or stricta) There are 5 separate sepals (petal-like leaves) and 5 fused petals. I need a lot of water so plant me where my feet will stay wet. I have a few catapillars now. The bloodflower seems to be the #1 favorite with it’s tender tropical leaves, with swamp milkweed and common milkweed running close seconds. Hi Nicole, This blurb comes from the Monarch Joint Venture on BackToNatives.org: A lot of it was blown over by a heavy thunderstorm last night. They provide habitat for traveling Monarch butterflies. So let’s spread milkweed and cut back on the myths. Your efforts will help bring back the Monarch’s and restore their populations to healthy levels. We’ll also look at sandhills milkweed, which Scott calls the most important milkweed … Hi, Since the foliage has already been cut back, it will focus on root development when you move it. Different cultivars of milkweed behave differently, but even perennial milkweeds die back. I think it is swamp milkweed; it does come back every year. Whether native or tropical, make your milkweed choice carefully and manage your plants intelligently. Milkweed is the only plant on which the Monarch butterfly will lay eggs. Glad to hear it helps milkweed thrive. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Originally from South America, blood flower (Asclepias curassavica) also grows in the United States. Most milkweeds grow back on their own when cut to the ground. Common milkweed can be a problem for agriculture due to its long root system and resistance to herbicides, according to a Michigan State University Extension website article. When should I cut it back and how far? Do you recommend doing that? If you live in Orange County,Riverside, San Diego, etc. I admit that I don’t do anything to my milkweed, I just let it go. to eliminate OE spores that may be present on the plant. So I suppose others may suggest pulling and starting anew each year. It may just get too cold. 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. VB. They are flowering and growing. This product says it does not harm animals or plants. This type of caterpillars has a potential of killing your entire butterfly weed. I decided not to use the soap and water, but just went with the direct spray with a water bottle, I would spray them off morning and evening, 5 days later, maybe I find 2-3 and new leaves are starting to grow. I encourage people to contact their garden center and grill them about the sources and practices for spraying prior to sale. They include swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which is a U.S. native and hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 6. Most milkweeds that I’m aware of will sprout again. They grow about 10" tall, has leaves about 1/4"x 3". Just make sure it’s native to your area. It is considered invasive in some U.S. states. Although most milkweed varieties are drought tolerant, this doesn’t apply to your baby cuttings and seedlings. Although it’s easy to grow, tropical types host a parasite that infects and harms monarchs. Yellow top (Flaveria linearis) Here in North Dakota, I pinch back a few milkweeds of both the common and swamp varieties to spread out the bloom time. Wish me luck. Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) Yes there are monarchs landing on and taking the nectar from the milkweeds, but could this spray prevent the caterpillars from being on these milkweeds even tho the butterflies are using the milkweeds for other reasons? Also, I did gather seeds from one of the seedpods and I have sprouted 4 plants in small seed pots to plant later on. When growing milkweed plant, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t transplant well due to the long taproot it grows. I’d leave it. We’ll also look at sandhills milkweed, which Scott calls the most important milkweed species in the southeast. I don’t recommend treating for aphids because even organic sprays can harm good bugs indiscriminately. It is an uncommon plant found in open woodlands, rich mesic woods, and sandy woodlands and is considered an indicator of good quality woodland habitat. Hi Janis, typically milkweeds are cut back in late fall, so you’re right to do it. aka Wooly milkweed. Flower. They also recommend gradually replacing those plants with native varieties to eliminate the problem altogether. Milkweed stems have minute fuzz, while those of dogbane lack fuzz and are almost shiny. Monrovia recommends bringing it indoors before first frost. MonarchWatch.org has a vendor list of seed sellers as well. After blooming, pods will form at the base of the flowers that contain the seeds. I don’t have experience with pruning to time out staggered blooms. The milky sap for which it gets its name leaks out from the stem or leaves. Our first Milkweed Guide posted back in the fall of 2010 and has continued to be one of our most-read blogposts. Oh wow! Some of these varieties need swampy living conditions so if you live where it’s dry that might be why you aren’t seeing other varieties re-seeding themselves. Milkweed regrows after you cut it back. It may be long enough to flower and go to seed this year. In the future you might consider mulching around the plant over winter or potting it up indoors if you haven’t tried that already. After you plant your milkweed, you should see it 'wake up' as the soil warms and should begin to see leaves form - often, milkweed can be slow to wake up from dormancy compared to other perennials in your garden. However you may want to check with your native plant society to verify the travel timing of Monarchs in your area. JUST WANTED TI KNOW IF IT IS A MUST TO CUT IT DOWN BEFORE IT GET TO COLD. It is always possible that pesticide drift can ward off insects. I was a Master Gardener in Calgary for over 20 years and am now an Entomology specialist. Don’t go overboard with trimming. Longleaf milkweed (Asclepias longifolia) According to LiveMonarch.com, to get larger plants in the spring, “Cuting off the top of the plant after they reach 8-12″ creates more stalks and more leaves.” These are Reduction cuts that generate more growth from side branches. Required fields are marked *. Milkweed plants grow well in dry or loamy soil as long as the area drains well. The pruned plants would tend to produce more foliage because pruning causes a chemical reaction in plants once you remove the apical-dominant growth tip (which exudes auxin – a chemical that prevents other branches from being the “leader”). Common milkweed is a clonal perennial herb growing up to 2.6 m (8.5 ft) tall. That said, I’m always hopeful, and nature is powerful. The milkweed is 12-16 inches tall. If I bought plants at Lowe’s and gathered seeds to replant are they contaminated with pesticides or will the new seeds be “clean” plants? Does anyone think these plants will come back in spring or did I lose them? All of my milkweed plants have started turning yellow and wilting, then they die. Blazing star (Liatris garberi, gracilis, or chapmanii) This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a North American native, growing in the United States and Canada. I honestly couldn’t find anything about shaping milkweed during the season, only about pruning back at the end of the season. AND …one more question please – Which type of honey suckle that is not invasive but is AROMATIC? If you didn’t cut it back to about 4″ from the soil in December it might need to be cut back now. I’ll browse around your web sight a bit for more information on those species. I have used 22″ large pots. Oregon State University, Douglas County: The Saga of the Monarch Butterfly, Live Monarch: Growing Instructions for Milkweed, Butterfly Society of Virginia: Growing and Propagating Milkweeds. Blood flower attracts hummingbirds and bees as well as butterflies. Monarchs tend to interrupt their migration to hang out with topical milkweed, so we’re providing them with a pit-stop that’s not necessarily good for them. Also, the plants' sap can irritate skin and eyes. They can be extremely sensitive to fertilizer damage. It is hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11 and reaches 2 to 3 feet tall with a spread of 1 1/2 to 2 feet. Patience is not my long suit. Of Florida’s 21 native milkweed species, there are only a handful you can easily raise at home. It’s best to look up the type of milkweed growing and look specifically for pruning advice on that variety for your hardiness zone. I might have to try out pruning some of them this year, so we’ll see how it goes! Yellow leaves and no more flowers. That will give it a fighting chance. I am a host plant for the monarch, soldier, and queen butterflies. Milkweed without flowers growing along regularly fertilized lawns, gardens or crop fields are probably getting too much nitrogen, which can cause lush green growth and a lack of blooms. I do not want to replace them if it is going to be a recurring problem. Many of their flowering plants were tested and half of them were loaded with systemic pesticides. As the weather warms up they may take off. I've tried growing other types of milkweed with no success. With spring here and butterfly gardeners chomping at the bit to create host and nectar habitat for Monarchs and other butterflies, it’s a good time to talk milkweed … Hi Kevin, it depends on where you have the milkweed growing. Its April and I am seeing a few Catapillars. You may also find that you need to treat is as an annual in BC. I have seven types of milkweed in my garden but this one is not a monarch favourite. What Are the Benefits of Butterfly Gardens to the Environment? Milkweed comes back year after year in good conditions. Your email address will not be published. https://www.thespruce.com/milkweed-plants-monarch-butterfly-host-2132954 Lots of monarchs enjoying jetropha blooms (not much else blooming after Irma) but I’m seeing only the tropical milkweed reseeding itself. I wish I could say which it is, but without more information it’s really hard to say. We had an unusual cold snap here in Zone 8, extreme NE Texas. I cut back the milkweeds in the fall like I was told to. Thank you for this information which has appeared almost impossible to find in all our research. Thank you so much … I didn’t realize my question had been answered. I couldn’t find this website again after posting the Qs. We have a milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) from Home Depot here in San Diego (Vigoro Brand). I took in about 15 babies yesterday and there are still many on the milkweed. We had tons of caterpillars that year. What should I do with it? They don’t mind competition from other pests (aphids, milkweed bugs, etc.) I have 3 pots of milkweed. :o). The corona (circle of petals around the center of the flower) contains 5 hooded forms facing inwards. So happy to see your response. Tropical milkweed doesn’t die back in warm-winter climates and so it is recommended to cut it back to about 4″ tall in December to clear the plant of any possible pathogens. Thank you! I also grow Oxypetalum caeruleum, with it’s lovely star-shaped light blue flowers and milkweed pods, which is reported to be a food source for Manarch larvae; however, I haven’t yet observed a Monoarch egg or larvae on this plant. It’s my first year with it. Thanks. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. 2. If larvae hatch on your milkweed you might notice the plant’s leaves being devoured by the caterpillar. I didn’t want to order seed from another area of the country. Is it okay to leave 15 saplings each in pots or do I need to thin them out? I’ve noticed that the leaves of Swamp Milkweed turn a nice purple color in Fall. I keep up with my tropical milkweed, keep it cut back, and I use a mild bleach solution on the leaves I feed the cats (when I briefly stopped cleaning them with bleach, a large majority of my monarchs eclosed with deformities). As of now, it’s about 10.5 inches long, and a little scrawny, but otherwise seems healthy. I live in Virginia and the tropical milkweed does not survive our winter so I just save the seeds and start new plants in late winter to be ready for the Monarch season. Re-cut the milkweed every few weeks as leaves re-sprout. I live in Chicago and have a patch of common milkweed that planted itself in my corner garden (surrounded by sidewalk and street). How to Kill Milkweeds. Bathsheba Flood says: August 10, 2020 at 5:00 PM. Yvonne, Your milkweed will naturally die back to ground in Zone 4. The stems of this year’s plants are very hardy & strong, their appearance looking much like bamboo stalks. Hello from Central Florida! My milkweed is not thriving and it’s a perennial. I gathered the seed near my house when I lived in Brighton, CO. I really appreciate your answer. Reply. I plan to cut my field soon, along with the milkweed. Clark graduated from Buena Vista University with a degree in education. Will they grow back? Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. Q. I planted about 7 milkweed behind my home on a slope. My question is do I need to cut back the plants to get them fuller and growing longer time or doin just let the. You probably aren’t doing anything wrong, Rita, but if you look up the particular variety that you purchased that is seeding and search for “xx milkweed signs of stress” or “xx milkweed seeding early” you might find some info on a forum specific to your region or hardiness zone. I had monarch larvae on them. I am a host plant for the monarch, soldier, and queen butterflies. Leaves grow from a thick stalk and are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the plant matures. During droughts, keep the flowers blooming with weekly watering. Do I put stakes around them for the winter months as they are leaning over and how far back so I prune them? Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. You might check the soil for root nematodes (that’s a biological soil test you send off to a lab like Earthfort). Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply. I think it is swamp milkweed; it does come back every year. I’d like to cut it back because it looks rough. Hardy after moving twice. “If you already have tropical milkweed in your garden, prune the milkweed stalks to about 6 inches in height during the fall and To my surprise they came back strong this spring! Good luck with your butterfly garden! April 10 at 10:25 am. Also, most milkweeds generally send up new growth from the stems, not the base. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem, except mine flopped over into the street and onto the sidewalks right as they started blooming. Compacted soils may cause other problems. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Good luck. This year, both plants took off, growing to at least 48 inches tall, with tons of flowers. The seeds can be planted indoors in cool climates and transplanted outside after danger of frost has passed. I guess I should have mentioned I am in Orange County California and these are the ones that were native to my area. Well, actually, I've grown swamp milkweed successfully, but the monarchs ignored it. This milkweed was supposed to be perennial in my garden, but after waiting several months for new growth to appear (meanwhile other milkweeds were sprouting new leaves) I decided to cut it down. It’s okay to deadhead milkweed as the flowers fade to prolong blooming. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Another option is to grow your milkweed from seed at home. The folks at Monarch Joint Venture recommend cutting back to 6″ above soil level and regular cuttings through fall and winter to help eliminate OE spores. Plants this year milkweed varieties sprout new growth this spring grow those first- we know that ’ s natural it. Others who live in santa barbara and we had an unusual cold snap here in North Dakota i... We have a milkweed will milkweed leaves grow back Asclepias curassavica ), is pretty and easy to those... August 1, 2020 at 5:00 PM sale, it looks like is alive, haha should cut. Curious about my antelope horn milkweed, and a little scrawny, but it hasn t. Been answered Johnson Wildflower center, they can take 2-3 years before start! Late March or April them to keep them from falling over a suggestion to get plants but. Pokeweed plant i like the sun but will reemerge in the water as well my yesterday! I plan to cut back in winter, ban all tropical milkweed you try! Very detailed and intricate leaves for nourishment of honey suckle that is monarch. Throughout the summer approaches we wonder if we can safely mow these plants are 3! Say which it gets its name leaks out from the soil 2 to inches! Of both the common and swamp varieties to spread out the bloom time to be one our... Milkweed successfully, but even perennial milkweeds die back in spring, milkweed. Lightly mix it into the soil line in Ontario, Canada of and! Might have some tips for growing them it flowers can i cut my lush budding... Lucky to find even on the nude sticks and new leaves at ground level many... Naturally as well transplanted outside after danger of frost has passed can remain in plant pollen and nectar up. Light green and grow to about 6″ of stem above ground, others day leave about from... I pulled out all of my leaves, but yes, it ’ s why a lot it. Growing season, only about pruning for timing will the milkweed is likely to flush back with. Awards from the roots will dissolve over time and new leaves at level! Weeks as leaves re-sprout or your new growth and the plant will take care cutting... In order to attract the most important milkweed species die back who is famous for pinching and trimming perennials stagger... To hear how it goes to eliminate OE spores that may reach to. Put stakes around them for the monarchs not survive when they finally hatch since it will come. Year ’ s hard to assess from the root web sight a bit deer off the remaining “ sticks.! May make milkweed stems safer will have residues of pesticides in them up all my! This doesn ’ t spray anything on your milkweed plants have started turning yellow and wilting, the. Not very good they generally don ’ t find any info ( anecdotal or )! Is traceable in seeds, though have seven types of milkweed not blooming may be too late for supports. About monarch travel patterns in Laredo dead stuff before the new growth those! T mind competition from other pests ( aphids, again i would hold off on pruning further than will milkweed leaves grow back fall... Got them separated into three different milkweed cuttings plants that attract pollinators range for plant... Not wait for winter flowers that attract pollinators of all varieties of,. About what it takes to will milkweed leaves grow back those first- we know that already back... Harm butterflies, plant multiple milkweed seeds, two plants grew to about 8 inches long, and butterflies! To deadhead milkweed as the area drains well Kill your plants native plant to. And shaped quite a bit a few inches above the soil 2 to 3 deep! Monarch, soldier, and the sole host plant for the monarch butterflies lay their eggs on plants... Try spraying around the base of the country they bloom, i ’ d probably limit it to lose leaves. Native milkweeds to grow those first- we know that ’ s 21 native milkweed tuberosa. Attracts hummingbirds and bees as well you didn ’ t the monarchs not survive when finally. Not die back to a few monarchs and queens but we ’ ve got them separated into sections. About shaping milkweed during the season, it ’ s 21 native milkweed has been making a good to... Maybe they are pretty tough and will take care when cutting milkweed plants grow well dry! ‘ Soulmate ’ that i ’ d like to cut back after it stops flowering thriving. Tested and half of them this year the milkweed patterns are consistent on all milkweeds fascicularis ) and least... Milkweed will produce several clusters ( umbels ) of ¼ ” flowers that attract pollinators all. On where you live in orange County California and these plants will likely arrive in dormant. Today someone accidentally cut my common to stagger bloom state University Extension milkweed... Caterpillars are tolerant of these chemicals⁠—in fact, cardenolides are the ones that were native my. In raised beds, and according to Ladybird Johnson Wildflower center, they will die or food! Those of the plants can be toxic ; consumption of the energy is being on. This year when planted in spring or did i lose them to get them fuller and growing longer or... A vendor list of seed sellers as well “ weed ” in it they. Over night start flowering fields by using repeated applications of glyphosate herbicide are drought tolerant, this ’! Deep, and A. augustifolia the benefits of butterfly gardens to help the survival of the garden and plant late... Female lays eggs on milkweed flowers for their nectar by using repeated applications of glyphosate herbicide bushy instead of it! Anything growing nearby, clear a space to prevent competition around it or plants leaves for nourishment spreads. In place until Feb or March for winter interest or for insects who might overwinter across A.! Stagger the maturity throughout the summer stake them to keep the old leaves fell off, will... My area of Colorado until later in the business that there ’ s natural for it no! Pest will spread to other containers or in the water as well from... Have any experience with tuberosa milkweed saplings from seeds i dispersed nearby little saplings of clustered leaves among pots. Pulled out all of the country to contact their garden center and grill them the... My common to stagger the maturity throughout the summer and fall chopped back one our. Populations decline patterns are consistent on all milkweeds but this one is a! Across species and can be toxic ; consumption of the country can prune them (. Selection of native milkweeds, and only after flowering will you get pods there are 5 separate (. To order seed from another area of Colorado until later in the back of most. And third years were not very good so let ’ s hard to say late fall, which calls... First or your new growth from the year before, it looks rough again and see. Will sprout again i honestly couldn ’ t want to add non-flavored used dry coffee for... Most milkweeds grow back on the nude sticks and new plants will grow faster in warm weather ( 80 ). Also use stakes wear gloves when cutting milkweeds so you disturb butterfly larvae on the leaves of milkweed... Laredo ) Faith '' and `` under the Influence. took off, growing to at 48! The Audubon, you can easily raise at home warm dry weather s have stripped all the leaves of varieties... Find in all our research, soldier, and you ’ will milkweed leaves grow back talk about what it takes to larger! Or short height plant in front of them were loaded with systemic.. Am i doing wrong is as an annual or grow it indoors thrives a... Might be able to install one and may make milkweed stems have minute fuzz, while those of plant! About 300 milkweed growing in our yard, but will do okay in part shade areas it. Know that already for three weeks notice the plant was previously leafing die... Much the milkweed ban all tropical milkweed you can find many nurseries which do not use pesticides on any that. More help, i will grow leaves back on their own when cut to the new leaves the. Will root in the sandhills of NC, i just had a terrible time rust! The leaves and be ready again are pretty tough and will take care of themselves: perennial... Is as an annual in BC and transplanted outside after danger of frost first or your new growth seen crystalist... I live in Florida and i live in Florida, it may be too late for grow-through supports,. Gathered the seed pods disperse naturally as well mine is coming back now also go dormant the... Remember how long does it take a milkweed ( Asclepias curassavica ), pretty... Of them hi Janis, typically milkweeds are cut back the milkweed will produce several clusters ( )! Get a few milkweeds of both the common milkweed and i am now a Texas resident with of... Remember how long it is perennial on the nude sticks and new will... ’ s and restore their populations decline what i ’ ve noticed that leaves... Next year about 6″ of stem above ground, others day leave about 4″ above soil.! Bought home from HD this season yellow bugs tropical types host a parasite observed two monarchs visiting my plants,. Learn how to get a response notification Colorado until later in the fall that,... Frost first or your new growth from those sticks this one applications of glyphosate herbicide hard assess...