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Thread: Planting delima

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Planting delima

    A couple of weeks ago a lady at Master Gardeners gave me some seeds for Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) and I looked them up on several sites. Well the basic instructions are to plant them in August to establish them for next years bloom, or in the spring for the following years bloom.

    The instructions also say they need about 60-90 days cold stratification. Which would put me planting these things in Feb. The stated germination period is from 30-60 days.

    So, my question is: When do I start? Now, or later when I can plant them outside. I'm perfectly happy to keep them inside as long as I need to, just as long as I have a good chance of not failing. I WANT these plants. So, what does anybody have to offer in the way of advice. Anybody ever started these things?
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  2. #2
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    Feb 2002
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    Newport, RI/Richmond, RI
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    I tried spring planting of these one year. They ended up getting eatten by something, probably catapillars, before the were more than 2" tall. If I were to try planting them again, I would definitely do them mid-Aug. up here. They are in the same genus as common milkweed, so the monarchs and others will eat them up. By planting later, you only have to worry about the last hatch of eggs, at most.

    Bill Gauch.

  3. #3
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    Tom,

    Were you able to get the seeds to grow?

    I was in the store today. Seed packages have arrived at HD, and I noticed the name 'Butterfly Weed', and I remember you telling me about yours. Then, DOING! I looked at the package, looked at the botanical name and realized, "I bet they are one and the same!"

    So, I came home and looked up this thread. Here's a link to another thread about 'Scarlet Milkweed' that I purchased at LOWES.

    http://www.landspro.com/forums/showt...ight=asclepias

    They are very, very pretty and the bloom is a lot bigger than one would think by looking at the picture on the seed packet.

    Nice that they come in different colors and some are bicolored which is COOL!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten about this thread.

    The plant your reference is in the same family, but quite different from the one Iím trying to grow.
    First of all, mine has a very deep root system, which makes it almost impossible to transplant, and is hardy in most any climate, or soil condition. Yours has a shallow root system and is only hardy sometimes, even in my weather.
    Yours has a longer, smoother leaf, and smaller flower clusters, but larger individual flowers.
    Yours are much more likely to reseed than the one Iím trying to grow. They also sometimes spread under ground by the roots.

    I have them both, but so far have had no success with the seeds of the bright orange Asclepias tuberosa. I collected a few seeds this year and will continue trying. The problem is, they are Ďnativeí to areas much further north than mine, so reseeding is probably never going to happen here.

    The seeds that the lady gave me, that we thought were butterfly weed, turned out to be something else, pictured at the very top of the photo below. They produce the same seedpod, and almost identical looking seeds, so I can understand why she got confused. This year my one and only Asclepias Tuberosa produced its first seedpod, and Iím hoping I can get some of these to germinate in the spring.
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Tom; 12-19-2005 at 08:04 AM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  5. #5
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    Whatever that something else is (in the background), it is very pretty.

    According to the T&M website, the seeds might need stratification. I hope to plant some outside in trays sometime before the end of winter.

    That is, if the beautiful pods will ever ripen. The pods are still very green and the plants with pods are in the enclosed porch area.

    I do like those pink ones, but the red ones are pretty, too. I bet the yellow/gold ones are also nice.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
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    Aug 2001
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    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    They are here

    We have the 'butterflyweed' native here. It does well in my open meadow. I have not tried transplanting any as Tom mentioned, they have a deep tap root and do not like to be transplanted. I want to transplant some, I just haven't yet.
    They are dotted throughout the 17 acre field we live in.
    How about putting them in the fridge now to get them their 60-90 days cold stratification. Then pot them up the middle of march. Do you get 3 months of consistently cold weather to be able to 'winter sow' them? Isn't it getting warmer down your way by the end of march?
    I love winter sowing, had great results with growing seed that way.

    Merry Christmas,
    Vicki in West MI

  7. #7
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    Vicki,
    We do have some cold weather. This week the temps have been in the mid to low 20's, with a forcast of snow flurries. However, by Friday we are expecting upper 50's, and perhaps 60. The 50's are normal around here for this time of year. Our coldest period will be in the Jan-Feb period.

    Ann,
    Keep a watch on those seed pods. Pick them when they turn brown and start to crack along the edges. Otherwise you will come home one day and most of them will be floating around, and you will have a good time trying to chase them down. The easiest what to capture them is to pick them just before the pods open, and put them in a paper bag so they will be contained when they do release.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  8. #8
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    Vicki,

    We don't get a lot of days of cold here, but we do get some. It's here and there followed by warmer days than cooler days. Our average hi's are in the 60's for Dec., Jan and Feb. Those are our cooler months. Our average lows are around 40. My ground never freezes nor does the potting soil. The top level of water in a bucket will freeze, though. Our lakes, ponds and rivers never freeze.

    We get snow perhaps once in 10 years and that is a treat. It only lasts for a few hours though. We get lots and lots of rain, about 5" per month during the winter months and an average of 7" in March.

    I'm going to try a few outside, and if they don't germinate, I'll try them in some damp vermiculite in a ziploc and then pop them into the bottom drawer of the garage fridge for awhile.

    Miniature greenhouses under the snow does sound like fun, but I'm not much for hunks of seedlings. That's just me. Let us know what you are winter sowing and how well it works.

    Most of all, have fun and keep sharing those gorgeous pictures!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
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    Augh! Vicki/anyone: Where is that post with the link for winter sowing. I thought i saw it this morning and now I don't. I am getting older by the minute and the ol brain cells aren't firing on all cylinders !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  10. #10
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    Cathy,

    I believe this is it:

    http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/wtrsow/

    If not, then I'm sure Vicki will chime in and give us some help.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  11. #11
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    Feb 2002
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    Ann,
    That blue flower is also in the milkweed, (butterfly weed) family. It's called 'Tweedia caerulea', or some call it 'Southern Star'.

    Another member of the Asclepiadaceae family. They have been coming back each year for quite a while now. Not much of a performer, but a really nice blue. I didn't harvest any seeds this year, but could next summer if you want some.

    You can get a better look at the alternate, heart shaped leaves on the plant way to the top of the picture.
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Tom; 12-24-2005 at 11:34 AM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  12. #12
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    Yes, Please, Please, SAVE me SOME!

    It is a very pretty blue, and being my favorite color, I would love to give them a try!

    Thanks, Tom!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
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    Hey!

    I went out to the porch to turn the heater on, and I looked over to see if the pods were starting to turn brown. They weren't brown yet, but they had split open and you could see the brown seeds. I carefully harvested seeds from numerous pods. The 'feathery' attachment feels like silk and is easily pulled from the seeds. Once separated from the seeds, the feathers are exactly 'that'. They float with the slightest movement.

    Cool! I have harvested seeds to share now. There are still a few more pods to keep an eye on...

    Neat!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  14. #14
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    Feb 2002
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    Good Job!

    Now you see the logic behind my caution above. In another day or two, those seeds would have been floating all over, and would be difficult to capture.
    The seeds look so thin that it seems they are not viable. They are light enough to be carried on the slightest breeze, or updraft to be deposited elsewhere.
    Last edited by Tom; 01-06-2006 at 08:48 PM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  15. #15
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    Indeed! If they had been outside instead of in the enclosed porch, they most likely would have been everywhere except for where I wanted them.

    I did some research. It seems that this particular variety is consider tropical and does not need cold stratification. Still, I do believe I will try a few seeds in a couple of weeks, perhaps some under lights inside and others in the old greenhouse.

    I think they are very pretty, and the flowers are bigger than I thought they would be. Don't get me wrong, they are small flowers, but larger than Lantana and their shape is very interesting.

    The ones on the porch are still blooming. The ones that I left outside to fend for themselves are dormant, I think.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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