HISTORY & FOLKLORE Historically, various Native Americans throughout its range have used desert milkweed as a medicinal plant. (visit our Holiday Hours), Copyright © 2020 | Roger’s Gardens | All Rights Reserved, Monarchs and Milkweed, What Gardeners Need to Know. When & Where To Plant Milkweed. Drought tolerant, this California native plant grows in some high desert areas and into Baja California. Showy milkweed is native to much of the western half of North America. Others have considered it toxic. Water once, and then allow the winter rain and/or snow to provide moisture until the spring. But they do move around regionally, just not like the big migrations of some areas. It is a perennial and has thick wooly stems that are low to the ground and bending upwards. Floristic Synthesis of North America, Version 1.0. My message is don’t baby this plant, it is a weed! In Southern California, gardeners have milkweed choices when outdoor plant shopping. Sitemap Milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate. Be the first to review this product! It is a magnet for monarchs and even a single plant in a garden will soon display a few colorful caterpillars dining on its leaves. This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial that grows to about 4 feet tall. Narrowleaf milkweed is a perennial flower native to parts of the western U.S. Plant seeds during the cool season of Zones 9 and 10. We promise to never spam you, and just use your email address to identify you as a valid customer. Milkweed is also well known for attracting butterflies and serving as a host plant for their caterpillars. Corona del Mar, CA 92625, Open Daily 9 AM – 8 PM Ours do not travel from the Northern parts of North America to Southern areas every winter and then back again the following spring. Pick a location with full sun and prepare soil for good drainage, if needed. 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 … don’t plant milkweed where it didn’t naturally grow AND plant the native species) Liam tucks in another universally solid suggestion: plant nectar plants! Photo by Jacoba Charles. California. Fall-sown seed will be naturally stratified outside. Monroe: Besides the basic premise of learning from nature, by doing the research, (i.e. Most of the areas in which milkweed is found are frost freeze zones. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. I generally winter sow, as that is the easiest if you are trying to get a set number of plants. Once established, this native plant is a breeze to grow and requires little maintenance. Whether to grow milkweed from seed (l), transplants, or rhizomes may depend on the species and the location. After stra… It seems that the caterpillars pick up the parasite from eating the infected milkweed leaves. The invertebrate conservation group The Xerces Society recommends native milkweed species. "The challenge is keeping the food here," Day says, noting that a few monarchs can defoliate a plant in a couple of weeks. With a blooming period lasting from May through October, narrow-leaved milkweed provides plenty of nectar for adult monarchs, but more importantly, it provides the necessary leaves that Monarch butterflies depend upon, and not the harmful protozoa. The question for many isn't whether to grow milkweed, but how -- and which kind. If you prefer to plant the seeds outdoors in the spring, read our detailed instructions on cold moist stratification. California Pollinator Plants Native Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) We suggest all tropical milkweed be removed from your garden, but we know that some gardeners will resist this request, especially when they see larvae abundantly feeding on it. Grow Native Nursery, 2 locationsClaremont, CA & West Los Angeles, CA. That way, the plant keeps putting out more flowers in an effort to fruit and reproduce. To grow Swamp Milkweed from seed, cold stratify in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for 2 months, stored in a zip lock bag. Zones 2-8 Plant in the spring after the danger of frost is gone. In Connie Day's Santa Monica garden, a tiger-colored monarch spars with another butterfly, chasing it from a patch of milkweeds. Biota of North America Program (BONAP). Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. The Ascelpias viridis (spider milkweed) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Call ahead to confirm species, quantity and verify plants have not been in contact with neonicotinoids or pesticides. Growing Instructions: Start California Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. Unlike Tropical Milkweed, which retains foliage all winter and even a few flowers, our native milkweed is completely winter dormant. It didn’t get much water, and grew in very hard soil, (in Southern California), so I took some branches, rooted them, grew it and am enjoying caterpillars and Monarch butterflies! Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. We recommend letting flowers stay in the garden. California milkweed, Asclepias californica is one of the most beautiful milkweeds in the Santa Monica Mountains. In fact, many California plants do not need a frost to trigger germination, but it is on a species by species basis. Roll the seeds in a damp paper towel, or place them in moist peat moss, and then put them in a plastic bag. You can collect your own seed or purchase seed or plants to add to your garden, or any landscape in your community. If you miss the window of opportunity for fall planting, winter sowing milkweed seeds is also an option. Growing Instructions: Start California Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. ; Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. 1-2 months after your seedlings have sprouted next spring, pinch off extra plants (or consider transplanting) to achieve ideal spacing for your specific milkweed. Milkweeds in the genus Asclepias provide the only plant material monarch caterpillars can eat. Shortly after this, the entire plant is generally cut back to near the soil line to let it rest until the following spring, when it will burst out with a fresh season of growth. (We recommend you take this action in October, but if you have let it grow … It is an important monarch butterfly caterpillar host plant. Map ©: Kartesz, J.T. Whether native or tropical, make your milkweed choice carefully and manage your plants intelligently. Simply sprinkle seeds on well-tilled soil and pat them down, add a topdressing of soil, and water them in. California on average has approximately 270 days between the last and first frost. Plant seeds 1/8" deep and 18” apart, using 3 seeds per hole. Tropical milkweed should be cut back to the ground in late fall, in areas with mild winters where plants do not die back naturally. But if you have individual plants spaced 18 ” apart, using 3 seeds per hole Swamp milkweed Asclepias! Would like to take action to help restore monarch populations beneficial insects love too... Of milkweeds and does n't need much room to grow so go ahead and plant many seeds all winter even! Drainage, if needed carefully and manage your plants intelligently on a species by species basis height, a... 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