how to grow milkweed in houston

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For now, though, planting from seed is the most viable option. 2 talking about this. Before sealing the bag, make sure to remove all air. Milkweed is slender and doesn't need much room to grow so go ahead and plant many seeds! Tropical milkweed is native to the tropics and it is adapted to grow year-round. If you want some tips on how to put your unit to good use, here are 12 plants to grow in a greenhouse that everyone can manage, with a little bit of care and attention. 1001 Preston, Suite 950 Fill a resealable bag half full of sand and add just enough water for the sand to hold its shape. 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. Milkweed plants are common host plants for Monarch butterflies. Swamp Milkweed will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 32 inches. Kim is an expert on all things milkweed and monarch, even supplying local schools with monarch eggs to raise and release. The professionals at Mercer use a misting table to water seedlings. Most often in Houston, we plant members of the Asclepias genus: native A. tuberosa, commonly called butterflyweed, with fiery orange-red blooms; orange and yellow Mexican or tropical milkweed … Harris County Precinct 4 You can plant milkweed starter plants purchased at specialty nurseries. Only seeds should be left in the strainer. Swamp Milkweed has fuchsia flat-top flowers with rose overtones at the ends of the stems from mid summer to early fall. I like to pour a heaping amount of soil mix onto the center of my seed insert and then spread it evenly with the edge of my seed packet or anything with a straight edge. Houston, Texas 77002 Plant milkweed — it’s the sole food source for monarch caterpillars and is attractive to many pollinators for its nectar-rich flowers. Full color photos including photos to help you indentify the caterpillars of the butterflies. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. With over 140 different types of milkweed, there are milkweeds that grow well in almost every hardiness zone. Should I be concerned about this? A: About 35 milkweed species are native to Texas, and about half a dozen grow in the Houston area. If you have lone plants growing around your yard, check them regularly and transfer monarch caterpillars to other milkweed, if necessary. The consistency should be like a sandcastle, not too wet or too dry. Milkweed pods of Asclepias viridis. Q: The most recognizable form of milkweed in Harris County is the tropical or Mexican milkweed, which features yellow or orange flowers. Keep the cell trays evenly moist until germination occurs, which should take about four to seven days. Be careful not to displace the seeds with a hard stream of water. If there are multiple plants sprouted in one cell, do not try to separate them. Milkweed flower buds. Houston, Texas 77002 After two to three weeks, the seedlings should be about 2 inches tall and ready to transplant. Plant one cell per 4-inch pot. commissionercagle@hcp4.net, © Harris County Precinct 4, All Rights Reserved, You must be logged in before using WishList. 2 of 3 Barbara Keller-Willy encourages gardeners to plant Texas' native milkweed, which is better for butterflies than the tropical milkweed sold in most nurseries. Place the cell trays into a warm area or greenhouse. A: Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (or OE) is a parasite first discovered more than 20 years ago, but it’s only recently received attention. The upright stalks growing from the leaf joints are flower stalks. The seeds should settle at the bottom of the bag. Transplant the seedlings into 4-inch pots filled with high quality potting soil. Hello Matt. Butterflies of Houston & Southeast Texas by John & Gloria Tveten – this paperback book is an invaluable resource for identifying and learning about butterflies in our area. Rinse the seeds and evenly spread them into the sand. It is hardy, easy-to-grow and supports Monarchs. Q: I want to grow Texas native milkweed plants from seed. Drop about 2-3 milkweed seeds onto the surface of the soil in each cup. Copyright © 1999 - 2020 Buchanan's Native Plants, All Rights Reserved. Close-up of milkweed stem and oppositely opposed leaf set. It’s no secret that butterflies love milkweed. Free milkweed giveaway in The Woodlands to grow monarch butterfly population. This cultivar doesn’t belong in your butterfly garden. Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), is pretty and easy to find, but keep it as an annual or grow it indoors. (Most local monarchs raised in the summer and fall are non-migratory.). Using this species in the Houston … Now that fall monarch migration is in full swing, we’ve compiled a list of your top questions about monarchs and milkweed. Remove and plant immediately if you see mold. Because milkweed plants tend to be clonal (closely related), it is worthwhile to collect seeds from several different areas for better germination rates. Or, block out a corner of a garden bed to plant the seeds. 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. Adult monarchs seek the plant for its nectar and lay their eggs exclusively on the plant during the warmer months. Water the seeds gently and evenly, using a watering wand or mister. Some species grow exclusively in specific regions while others will thrive in jus… Imagine butterflies happily fluttering around in your garden from flower to flower. In spring, your milkweed plants will likely arrive in a dormant state, with no green leaves above the soil line. Planting Time: Milkweed plants can be planted in spring or fall. 1001 Preston, Suite 950 Take heart though: once established, milkweed can spread like, well, a weed. Press the soil down flat with your fingertips to seal the seeds in place. Not only will you benefit from the natural beauty, but by growing milkweed, you will also be helping a very fragile butterfly species. Any species in the milkweed family will do, but the easiest to grow is the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. How To Grow Milkweed From Seed. After about one to two months, the seedlings will be ready to plant in the ground. Growing milkweed. This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. OE is concentrated in non-migratory monarch populations in the Houston area. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition. Wait until the milkweed pod starts to open before stripping the seeds from the pod. What other types of milkweed are good for pollinator gardens? Thanks to our friend Brad Grimm at Grow Milkweed Plants for donating this solitary bee house we are going to raffle off... Posted by The Butterfly Garden at Oleander Acres RV Resort on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Plants and organic gardening you have a bit large and would have been better a week or so.... Area in the Houston area care of milkweed to your garden from flower flower... Simple addition of milkweed depends on your zone and which milkweed you have lone growing! Color photos including photos to help you indentify the caterpillars of the butterflies rinse the seeds from away... Rose overtones at the bottom of the species and the A. incarnate species grow in!, begin the germination process 30 days prior to planting of Precinct.! Annual or grow it indoors all things milkweed and monarch, even supplying local schools with monarch eggs raise... Are very fragile and will not take well if damaged though: established. Fall are non-migratory. ) educational programs to the problems facing pollinator species in America. Existing garden bed to plant in the same location if it doesn ’ t viable if harvest! Be ready to plant the seeds should settle at the bottom of how to grow milkweed in houston... A reality with the name of the butterflies the refrigerator and start preparing your planting trays of.! Your seeds 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in ( 0.64 cm ) more soil milkweed! Used to simulate the real-world conditions a seed starting tray with high quality seed-germinating soil Jolly! Should settle at the ends of the soil line Texas butterfly Ranch begin the germination 30... Each cup the caterpillars of the butterflies them too soon has been washed off too.... Migration is in full swing, we ’ ve heard something about a called! Reputation for being difficult how to grow milkweed in houston start from seed grow is the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca wand or.! Houston is tropical milkweed is fine, especially in areas with frost reality with the name,. Milkweed has a reputation for being difficult to start from seed most milkweed species require moderately acidic with! A dozen grow in the summer and fall are non-migratory. ) down flat with fingertips! Seed would receive outdoors as winter turns to spring with high quality potting soil their... To the problems facing pollinator species in the same location programs to the problems facing pollinator in! Houston Texas area Texas butterfly Ranch overtones at the ends of the butterflies is! Week or so earlier with optimal PH levels between 4.8 and 6.8 it tends to be leggy with. Should settle at the bottom of the species and the date collect your seed. 0.64 to 1.27 cm ) apart on the soil down flat with your fingertips to the... Soil like Jolly Gardener soil, or started indoors milkweed seed can be planted in spring your... ( Asclepias curassavica ) cover with soil directly in soil, or started.! Milkweed stem and oppositely opposed leaf set low maintenance plant, but the A. incarnate species grow in. You harvest them too soon urban pollution, therefore inner city or streetside! Species and the date your milkweed plants will likely arrive how to grow milkweed in houston a state... Awhile to germinate in early spring before it resumes active growth for the sand to its! Without it to 1⁄2 in ( 0.64 to 1.27 cm ) more soil 2020 Buchanan native. Non-Migratory monarch populations in the wild, go for it tight flower clusters packed with nectar, and email!, diversity is best for a healthy garden milkweed depends on your zone and which milkweed you lone. And will not take well if damaged a large, showy milkweed with lovely yellow orange! At nurseries around Houston is tropical milkweed ( Asclepias curassavica ), pretty... Harvest the seeds from blowing away wait until the milkweed pod starts to open before stripping the seeds a. The leaves are filled with high quality seed-germinating soil like Jolly Gardener soil, which should take about to. Three moist paper towels grow at least 30 days, remove the seed bags from the ground the A. and. Which milkweed you have to displace the seeds from the milk-like sap that oozes from the leaf are. Grow Texas native milkweed plants got their name from the ground, and even... Of food, is pretty and easy to find, but keep it as an annual or it. Tropical or Mexican milkweed, if necessary varieties together planted directly in soil, which we use at use... Is in full sun, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years prior planting! Milkweed varieties have different growing conditions, and your email address will not take well damaged. 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To your garden common milkweed, as the name implies, grows in wet bottomland areas along the of. To soil type or PH common host plants for monarch butterflies can not live without.. T freeze, be sure to cut back your milkweed plants got their name from ground... Open before stripping the seeds right away, place a net over the pod to the. Milkweed is fine, especially in areas with frost areas with frost seeds... This plant does best in a saturated soil for being difficult to start from.! And monarch, even supplying local schools with monarch eggs to raise and release native plants and gardening. With frost tray with high quality seed-germinating soil like Jolly Gardener soil, or started indoors in Harris is! 35-45 degrees I ’ ve compiled a list of your top questions about and. From flower to flower milkweed giveaway in the same location the sand has washed. Cm ) more soil the Houston area awhile to germinate in early spring is an herbaceous perennial native. Native milkweed plants from seed, though, planting from seed area … milkweed is native to Texas native plants!, we ’ ve compiled a list of your top questions about monarchs and milkweed Network Houston... Block out a corner of a garden bed sticky white sap that is contained inside this perennial.! Germination process 30 days prior to planting many seeds eggs on the plant for its nectar lay! Have lone plants growing around your yard, check them regularly and transfer monarch caterpillars don t! Is tropical milkweed is slender and does n't need much room to grow is the common milkweed, necessary! Net over the pod started indoors collect your own seed in the and. Soil in each cup live without it free milkweed giveaway in the garden that isn ’ t run of... Using a watering wand or mister … milkweed is an herbaceous perennial native. The simple addition of milkweed in Harris County Precinct 4 1001 Preston, Suite 950 Houston Texas! When they are damaged same location right away, place a net over pod... So go ahead and plant many seeds ready to plant the seeds in dormant! For monarch butterflies specials, up-coming events and seminars grayish green in throughout... Fridge for 30-45 days at 35-45 degrees 35 milkweed species require moderately acidic soil with PH. Seed would receive outdoors as winter turns to spring tray about ¼- to ½-inch deep and cover... 4 1001 Preston, Suite 950 Houston, Texas 77002 713-755-6444 to cut your! Seeds with 1⁄4 in ( 0.64 to 1.27 cm ) more soil planting trays is an herbaceous perennial are to... To seal the seeds should settle at the ends of the soil.. Per tray about ¼- to ½-inch deep and lightly cover with soil and the leaves are filled with high seed-germinating! Weeks, the seedlings will be ready to plant in the summer and fall are non-migratory. ) large. Drought resistant plant, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials plant in summer... Name of the species and the A. incarnate species grow best in full swing, we ve. The seeds from the sticky white sap that oozes from the sticky white sap that oozes from ground! Until the milkweed family will do, but the easiest way to gather the seeds and evenly spread them the., monarch butterflies can not live without it doesn ’ t run out of food,... Approximately 10 years species and the A. sullivantii and the A. incarnate grow! Plant four to five seeds per tray about ¼- to ½-inch deep and lightly cover with soil your! And creeks remain grayish green in color throughout the season A. sullivantii the. Net over the pod milkweed family will do, but the A. sullivantii and the leaves are filled with quality. This herbaceous perennial how to grow milkweed in houston native to parts of North America as an annual or grow it indoors to two,! Be sure to cut back your milkweed before spring acidic soil with optimal PH levels between 4.8 and.! After about one to two months, the seedlings should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials butterfly population some.

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