How to Sow Milkweed (Asclepias) Seeds
Tips for sowing milkweed Seeds outdoors in Fall, Winter, and Spring.
Melissa J. Will
Plastic milk jug
optional for winter sowing
With first frost near, sow seeds and cover with 1/4-inch of soil.
Mark locations with winter-proof plant tags.
Keep soil moist until winter freezes set in.
Cut bottom off milk jug.
Sow seeds in ground (using potting mix if ground is frozen) and cover with 1/4-inch of soil.
Secure milk jug over sowing area and tag.
Pre-chill (stratify) seeds in moistened paper towel in plastic food bag and keep in fridge for 45 days. You can also use freezer if temperature of seeds stays near or just above freezing.
Sow indoors in potting mix for indoor seed starting or directly outdoors in fall.
Prior exposure to cold (stratification) over weeks or months is necessary for milkweed seeds to germinate. This occurs naturally when sowing seeds directly outdoors in fall or early winter.
Roughing up the seed coat prior to sowing may also improve germination.
If using commercial seeds, follow instructions on your seed packet.
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