how to grow milkweed in houston
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. email@example.com, © 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.! 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After about one to two months, the seedlings should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials butterfly population some.