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Use a large plastic container for ease of moving and winter Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. You can help these majestic butterflies, as well as more sedentary local species of butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects, by planting milkweed in your garden. Taylor Hall, 59 College Road, Durham, NH Directions. Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) – A larval host plant that grows in dry or sandy soils, this whorled milkweed is hardy in USDA zones 4a to 10b. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a perennial plant that can be found in a wide range of habitats including roadsides, fields, and gardens. Some have large taproots. This is not a big deal unless you are upwind and very close to a commercial farm or neighbor who might consider the milkweed to be a nuisance. Baked and Stuffed Milkweed Pods. Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. Milkweed is taking over my perennial garden. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established. It is a lovely and easy to grow milkweed with brilliant red/yellow blooms. You can collect your own seed or purchase seed or plants to add to your garden, or any landscape in your community. There’s lots of wild plants out there, but it’s rare to find a plant that produces something similar to what you might cook like a garden “vegetable”. More than 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to the U.S. and Canada. I’ve … Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! The flowers eventually give way to bumpy seed pods that split open when mature and release windborne seeds with silky hairs. Basically any milkweed will do! The stems and leav… Female monarchs have likely already laid their eggs or are in the process of doing so on the undersides of the leaves. Three species have particularly wide ranges and are good choices in most regions: common milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ), swamp milkweed ( A. incarnata ), and butterflyweed ( A. tuberosa ). Last year I did a lot of interplanting in the vegetable garden for the first time. Once it is established it can spread from its rhizomatous root system. phone: (603) 862-1520  Hours: M-F, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. These varieties include tropical milkweed, swan milkweed, goose plant, and giant milkweed. The only negative aspect of planting milkweeds is that the seed produced can drift and start new plants. The milkweed flower (Asclepias syriaca) and its cousin butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) are an integral part of the butterfly garden, a source of nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds. Individual plants can also be repeatedly hand-pulled or treated with an herbicide, but don’t be too hasty this season. If you do grow this one, make sure you remove it from your garden by Thanksgiving. Growing shallow-rooted plants over the drainage area is recommended because they help remove excess moisture and nutrients from the soil and reduce erosion. Cultivars may be easier to find in your local garden center or nursery, but specialist nurseries do carry both potted plants as well as seeds. Growing milkweed supplies larvae of the Monarch with food and shelter, providing caterpillars food and a resting place before they leave the caterpillar stage and become butterflies. As the plants can be toxic; consumption of the plant protects caterp… The Bad Seeds The bad actors, unfortunately, also go by the common name of milkweed, and are in the same plant family but a different genus: Cynanchum . Warm weather milkweeds, which are annuals for most of us, do not require this cold treatment. All parts of the plant contain white, latexy sap that is filled with toxic cardiac glycosides. Why is this? Or, you can twist the fibers opposite to make rope. Many garden centers will sell a variety of milkweed species during the growing season, but finding live plants online can be difficult. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Growing milkweed in containers is the preferable method of growth for some. Call toll free at 1-877-398-4769, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or e-mail us at answers@unh.edu. Once dry, remove the outer layer by hand, then weave the fibers into a cloth. Monarchs for nectar, but butterfly lovers are likely looking for those plants Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a perennial plant, and with a little care, it can be harvested at all stages of development and it will regrow with increased vigor. They are easily recognized by their yellow, white, and black banded bodies, and black tentacles on their front and back ends. Anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months is fine. Then later, when it … Like butterfly weed and swamp milkweed, common milkweed can be utilized in the garden. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Common milkweed stems are covered with opposite, oval shaped leaves. Chill in a refrigerator at least 30 days. It is native to North America and reproduces primarily from seed. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Use a light-colored one that is deep, as root systems of milkweed If you already have common milkweed in the garden, you can prevent further spread by removing immature seed pods. Many species need to be vernalized (cold treated) before planting. our beds, so we want plants to attract them and encourage them to return. Yes, it's the same plant also known as Scarlet Milkweed, Curacao Milkweed, Mexican Milkweed, Swallow-wort and Bloodflower. be invasive, we might consider growing milkweed in a pot. Sign up for our newsletter. There are more than 100 species of milkweeds that grow in The Ask UNH Extension Infoline offers practical help finding answers for your home, yard, and garden questions. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Various native species of milkweed are found across the country. Here’s a milkweed plant fact: Milkweed produces four different edible products, and all of them are delicious. Not least among the uses of common milkweed, however, is its versatility as a vegetable. Any species in the milkweed family will do, but the easiest to grow is the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. Planting milkweed can open up a whole new world. Many have adapted to different regions of the country and a wide range of climates and terrains, from deserts and rocky areas to marshes and open prairies. However, you can use any cheese. Starting Milkweed Seeds Indoors If you want to start the plants indoors, place seeds between moist paper towels inside a sealed plastic bag or plant the seeds directly into peat pots covered with a sealed plastic bag. The caterpillar is specific to milkweed and not a problem on other plants If planting is going to occur in the spring, keep seeds cold until ready to plant. Milkweed seeds, like many native plants, need to feel a cold winter before they can germinate. The fibers of Swamp Milkweed stalks can be used to make rope/cordage and woven into cloth. The caterpillars get taken by wasps so if you have any and you have cages they are safer in these. Milkweeds in the genus Asclepias provide the only plant material monarch caterpillars can eat. Usually only one egg is laid per plant, and it can be very difficult to spot. container. Let’s take a look at some Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a perennial plant that can be found in a wide range of habitats including roadsides, fields, and gardens. If you’re planting milkweed seeds in spring, you will want to wrap the seeds in damp paper towel and chill them. It is much better suited to unmaintained edges of fields or thickets. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. More obvious are the Monarch caterpillars which are already quite active in many locations. Based on frost dates and planting … Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. North America, and not all of them are hosts for the Monarch. Growing milkweed You can plant milkweed starter plants purchased at specialty nurseries. Plant cold-treated seeds in a moist seed-starting potting mix. It also grows shorter than swamp milkweed so a potted plant will fit better in a large caterpillar cage, should you decide to raise monarchs. Since milkweed is a perennial, it will emerge again in the same spot next summer, but its spread will be more limited. Milkweed is among the primary plants to draw the Monarch butterfly Once it is established it can spread from its rhizomatous root system. These poisonous compounds keep most predators from eating milkweed. If you decide to remove all of the common milkweed from your garden, consider replacing it with other less aggressive native milkweed species. A monarch butterfly on a milkweed plant Gathering and Cooking Milkweed Imagine a plant you can cut in the early stages like asparagus. It was a regular food item for all Native American tribes within its broad range. You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. 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