Nature In The Natural State: Milkweed Seeds

Jan 31, 2020

November is one of the best months to plant milkweed seeds in the ground. They must be “cold stratified” to sprout, meaning they must experience cold for at least several weeks. Plant seeds a quarter inch deep in wet soil. White swamp milkweed, Asclepias perennis likes moist soil, the beautiful orange-flowered Asclepias tuberosa likes well-drained soil, and Four-leaf milkweed, Asclepias quadrifolia, likes dry soil. They all like the sun and are all native to Arkansas.

Do not plant tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. If buying a milkweed plant, make sure it is not this variety. Research shows these plants may sicken monarchs or derail their migration.

Remember, the milkweeds you grow will be food for monarch butterfly caterpillars, who are born on milkweed plants and must eat them to live.