October 2018 You can absolutely just stratify them the "all natural" way if you have the space. I do this with our common/swamp every year. Just a note about growing A. curassavica (tropical milkweed). I cut the top so it is still attached but so that I can sow seeds and water if necessary. A little later another one eclosed and also had OE. Spread the seeds in a single layer across two layers of damp paper towel. Soak seeds in cold water. Tony, thanks so much. January 2020 Hi Jenny, I hope they sprout. What if there is a faster way that works? February 2020 I am in Toronto, Canada (zone 6a) and have a couple of questions: 1. Go ahead and cold stratify them, you're still in time to plant this year. you are too kind Ruth I am really diving into video this season, so the videos will improve over time. I might try it with some other varieties when the proper time comes. So last year I got inspired to create a registered Monarch way station here. Kenny May 15, 2016 at 5:58 am - Reply. Some people prefer to use a spray mister to water their seedlings. April 2019 Thanks for your comment! Thank you! Not a sopping wet towel–a towel you’ve thoroughly doused with water (we use bottled drinking water), wrung out and spread out should be about right. I’ll probably never bother with any other techniques again. The seeds seemed to germinate fine without one. I think it makes sense the water sprouting method. Cold stratification is the process of subjecting seeds to both cold and moist conditions. For method #2, take your damp paper towel and fold it over your seeds, then fold this inside a dry paper towel, and place this bundle into a plastic bag. Too much water may cause the seeds to mold inside the bag. My question is your photo Cold Dry vs Cold Moist Stratification Result is that when you actually begin to take the lid of the greenhouse & begin the rotating fan? I am also planning on potting them up when there are about 4 sets of real leaves. I have not tried the water stratification yet…that’s on the list for late winter/ early spring. Most milkweed seeds require cold stratification. I collected seed pods, I believe them to be Common Milkweed, last fall and kept them in my gazebo over the winter. Alternatively you can direct Sow in the Fall/Autumn. Hi Liz, if the seeds are viable, this method definitely works for tuberosa…good luck! How do I find him? Thanks for your questions! I planted about 40 MW in my garden and also gave away seedlings to people who were interested, and gave several talks. I collected some seeds last year and have them in pods. Good luck with your new seedlings…, Were Gwendolyn’s seeds wild or pre-packaged? Community member Gwendolyn J. sent me this photo of Asclepias tuberosa seeds she started in a container of water! I’m very happy at ‘ Flutterbyacres ‘ ! The seeds won’t germinate while they are inside the refrigerator. Gently add water until soil is damp. I am giving stratification my first try this week. https://www.monarchmilkweedhabitat.com/. Thank you, your advice will be most welcome. If you would like to read more on growing milkweed indoors check out my other blog: https://www.saveourmonarchs.org/blog/5-steps-to-planting-milkweed-seeds, Does putting dry seeds in the freezer for a week or so help at all? I was amazed when I tried it too…sometime we make things far more complicated than they need to be…lol were you using a heated seed mat or without? I collected a few dozen pods and put them in the freezer. ​. So you will have to sow seeds in fall, or put them in the fridge before sowing in spring. I want to plant an acre or two. number around 30 Monarch's. She was also able to do this successfully with tropical milkweed seeds. Hi Sue, someone was kind enough to gift me seeds a few years ago, but I bought some as plants the monarch festival at Lake Nokomis (Mn) in September. 185 Yellowwood Drive Hi Helen, make sure the plant is getting plenty of light so it comes out of dormancy. They don’t need any cold treatment before planting. Can we sow directly into the soil now and/or plant in seed trays without cold stratifying? My understanding is this helps those hard to sprout seeds. Thanks! This milkweed fosters the possible transmission of the protozoan ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) increasing the likelihood of monarchs becoming infected with this debilitating parasite. Last week I soaked them in water for 24 hours, then planted them in a small seed starting greenhouse indoors. Store the mixture in the refrigerator (33–38°F) for the recommended time on your seed packet. February 2019 It is a learning experience and I am enjoying every moment! Spread your Milkweed seeds out on the damp paper towel and fold it so the paper towel fits inside the Ziploc bag. I am going to try the water cup method for sprouting some butterfly weed. I am a “newbie” at raising Monarch butterflies – this is only my second season. Do I assume this has been a failure or is there anything I can do to retrieve the situation? December 2018 Label and seal the bag as above and place in the refrigerator. This winter has been too long for me this year. In this video Dan from http://www.plantabundance.com shares with you 5 ways to cold stratify seeds and how he goes about scarifying hard shelled seed. Place the sandwich bag inside of a food container and secure the lid. ANy suggestions would be great. The other varieties will bloom this year, I hope! In the wild. Hi Kathy, check out this page for more info on OE: I too am trying both methods. With a very large supply of milkweed seeds on hand (common, swamp, tropical, hairy balls, and butterfly weed), I’ve been experimenting with just how badly I can treat them and still have them sprout in water. Then assume I set outside in containers for awhile before planting in ground. Question about just putting all my perennial seeds in the garage (suspended in a small hammock from the ceiling, all seeds in original or homemade paper envelopes and all seeds then in rubbermaid sealed container – mice!). It is recommended to water from the bottom up by adding a half-inch of water to the bottom of a tray and placing the pots inside this tray. The purpose of the cold stratification period is just to awaken them and let them know that Spring is near. Hi Michelle, we keep seeds about 3-4 years but I can’t give you an exact answer for the germination rates. 100 Seeds That Need a Cold Treatment. Should I just wait a couple months? I’ve never had a problem  starting common, swamp, or butterfly weed seeds in this manner, but have only done this on a small scale so I’m uncertain how effective this is compared to a cold moist stratification. Hi Tony, Didn’t have any luck with starting cuttings from my (purchased as a starter plant this spring) Tropical M. Weed. 4. Am in Tulsa, Oklahoma and weather has been up and down for awhile. Like your website. How deep? I did the same as you, and then planted them and mine are sprouting nicely. I’m also planning on making a seperate bed for the common milkweed seeds to keep the future plants segregated. Do monarchs fly thru here on their migration? Recently I wrote to someone regarding extra Common Milkweed seed pods I have. I was going to do a comparison of germination rates between seeds that had wet cold stratification to those that had dry cold stratification, but I don’t know when my paper towel dried out. Does it make any difference what temp it is held at ? The most common method of cold treating seeds, is cold moist stratification by refrigeration. Someone sent me some wild milkweed seeds and I will try growing them. I dig a hole, get an empty water gallon (jug), cut the bottom out of the jug and sink it into the ground. The trick is … October 2019 Cooper. I pour them out on soil when I start seeing roots, then sprinkle a little soil over them. it kills pathogens, puts more oxygen in the soil, and wipes out fungus gnat eggs. currently have some in freezer. Will be interesting to see how they turn out. If you still have extra I would love some. Hi Alan, Thank you so much to our most awesome community for participating in the Cape Ann Monarch Milkweed and Aster Project. http://savethemonarchbutterfly.ca/Free-Milkweed-Seeds-For-All.pdf I’ll let you know… I’m not checking mine until I take them out in April. All I need is a SASE ( Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and I will gladly send them anywhere in North America. Milkweed Stratification Procedures, Courtesy Native American Seed NOTE: George Cates insists that sterile rubber (latex) gloves be worn at all times and that containers and implements be sterile. Still have 4 in Chryslis. Tony, with the Purple MW how long did you use the cold/moist treatment? Cold-stratifying seeds indoors can be used to break seed dormancy in climates with mild winters, but if you live where winter temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cold-stratify seeds where you intend to grow them. Exposing the seeds to cold temperatures for a short time simulates the natural cycle of dormancy. In order to ensure that our Milkweed seeds germinate, we are attempting to recreate a month of Georgia’s winter right inside our refrigerator. Filed Under: Butterfly Garden Ideas, Milkweed Garden Ideas, Milkweed Propagation, Minnesota Garden Ideas, Plant Propagation, Starting A Garden Tagged With: cold stratification, milkweed seeds, stratify milkweed seeds, Honeybees can have a hard time with milkweed, sometimes getting their legs caught in the flowers: http://www.ourhabitatgarden.org/creatures/milkweed-varieties.html, Hi Larry, I have seen flies and small white butterflies get stuck in common milkweed blooms, but never honey bees, and we see them often in our garden…. Asclepias incarnata stratifying in a cold/moist chamber at the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. The jug helps to keep seeds moist and when the seedlings germinate it protects them from marauders. Swamp milkweed – Swamp milkweed can tolerate extra water, but does well in average soil. Should I scrap this project and try again next year? This is our first time collecting milkweed pods to plant-- next year we'll know to cold stratify. Best milkweed because of flowers and it can sustain a large number of cats. Monarchwatch.org has an abundance of information on germinating milkweed seeds and planting. Soak warm weather milkweed seeds including A. curassavica, C. gigantea, C. procera, G. fruticosus, & G.physocarpa in warm water 24 hours before planting. Check the seed envelope or the seed supplier’s web site for more information. Here’s hoping that 2015 is a great year for everyone! Around how tall should they be before I transplant them outside? Is that a good time frame, in your experience? Maybe we’ll see you on HGTV in the future. To cold water stratify put the seeds in a jar or container, then add cold water. If any one has any extra Milkweeds seeds could you please send to me, I’d appreciate it! good luck! And if they are fresh seeds from last fall, the germination rate should be high, assuming the seeds are fully mature…, Love the video, nice addition to your posts, thanks. HGTV? Then you can store in paper or plastic bags for later use. The ideal temperature is between 33–38°F. I isolated that one also. 2. Monarchs are not native to one region, so why would they only favor your native plants? Royal Palm Beach FL 33411. I did an experiment where I tried dry, cold and wet, cold stratification methods on the same types of milkweed seeds and the wet, cold seeds did significantly better than the dry, cold ones. I was able to get 7 seeds to sprout earlier by soaking the seeds in warm water before planting. Are indoor pots safer to sprout them then transplant? I have both common and swamp seeds in the frig and every Saturday, I am going to pull out 10 to 15 seeds and plant them in 3 1/2 inch cups. Sharpsburg, Ga 30277, Hi all! However, when I opened up the container, the paper towel was bone dry. I have some milkweed seeds I happened across at my parents farm. After I cold stratify can I just plant them outside after average last killing frost? 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