Grow Showy Milkweed from fresh Asclepias speciosa flower seeds. Showy Milkweed will produce beautiful clusters of pale pink flowers. The plants themselves grow to a mature height of about 24 to 40 inches tall. Showy Milkweed is known for attracting an array of beneficial insects such as bumblebees, lady bugs, hummingbirds and most importantly the endangered Monarch butterfly. Asclepias speciosa is grown as a perennial flowering plant that returns each year from it’s deeply established root system.
Asclepias is very important to the Monarch butterfly as it is categorized as a host plant. The caterpillars will enjoy it’s large, tender leaves and adult Monarchs, as well as many other butterflies look to it for it’s rich source of nectar. Showy Milkweed can be grown with other varieties such as the Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed & Butterfly Milkweed.
Monarch butterflies occupied much of North America in the many years prior to 2015. Recently, studies have shown that their numbers have dwindled by nearly 96% over the decades, leaving them hanging on the edge of endangerment. This migratory species is exposed to numerous threats along it’s pilgrimage, but the number one threat it faces is the decrease in Milkweed plants available.
Purchase Asclepias seeds now to help prevent any further decline in the Monarch population. Together we can all help to increase the number of these lovely orange & black creatures that so many of us adore.
- Type: Flower
- Color: Pink
- Height: 24" to 40" Tall
- Width: 20" to 24" Spread
- Season: Perennial
- Zones: 2 to 9
- Environment: Full Sun
Sowing The Seed
Asclepias flower seeds will need to go through a process of stratification for successful germination. Place your seed packet in the fridge for roughly 3 to 6 weeks prior to sowing.
Asclepias seeds are best sown indoors, where the environmental conditions can be maintained for optimal growth. Sow in peat pots, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last killing frost, at a shallow depth of 1/16” under topsoil. The seeds will require light to germinate, so it is crucial that you do not cover the seeds with much dirt. Transplant or direct sow outdoors when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed.
Asclepias will enjoy an area of full sunlight for the majority of the day with temperatures of at least 70F to 85F. The soil should be rich in organic matter and also well drained. It is recommended that you combine any hard compact soil with a light fluffy compost to increase drainage. Water daily so that the seeds are kept moist until germination has occurred.
Germination & Growth
Milkweed seeds will show signs of life within 14 to 28 days, but can take up to 40 days to successfully germinate. The plants will grow to a mature height of roughly 24 to 40 inches tall and can be spaced roughly 12 to 18 inches apart from one another. Showy Milkweed is a crucial food source for the Monarch Butterfly. It will also attract an array of other beneficial insects as well.
You can always use the Xerces Milkweed seed finder for additional varieties of Milkweed that we do not carry ourselves.