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  • Butterfly Lady in Kodak, TN.
    I have raised milkweed in pots for years.
    I have common, red tropical, and oscar milkweed and they all do well in pots. Too well!

    (I do have a couple of established plants peaking through the soil now, too.

    Also, once potted A. Incarnata gets established–
    1) do I need to cut it back in the fall and wrap it well to give it a “winter dormancy?” or
    2) should I bring it inside and let it grow at room temps through the winter?
    Many thanks!

    • Hi Vickie, Incarnata grows best in cold climates. Narrowleaf milkweed, a California native, is sometimes called Mexican whorled milkweed. Each fall, leave a couple inconveniently-seeded first year swamp plants in your garden and mark them. Sign up today and get our Fall Gardening Guide right away! The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects. I will continue to keep my “Butterfly Garden” outside in potted plants throughout the year.

      Some of the Cats crawl down from the Milkweed and onto the dirt throughout the day and then crawl back up the Milkweed. I planted them last October and now I have plenty of them in the pot I planted them in. Here’s more info on diseases:

      7 Monarch Diseases and caterpillar Killers

  • It takes forever for the milkweed seeds to grown. Space plants 6-12” apart. of Michigan . I read it was a fungus from the dirt. Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. If they survive and grow to be fairly strong, I’ll donate them to a friend of mine who owns 5 acres where A. eriocarpa is native. Winter sowing worked really well for them. I swear I got about 400-500 seedlings! And here where I live is the same wheather. It has buds that look like little pink pearls that open to pale pinkish-white flowers. Incarnata doesn’t have tap roots, so it’s easy to dig up and replant. However, I decided to “winter sow” a tray of seeds from a pod, that I put in my cold frame last January. The most common species that we grow at TPF, in order of popularity, are narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), showy milkweed (A. speciosa), and Kotolo milkweed (A. eriocarpa). More Tweedia Photos, info, Plants, and Seeds. I’m growing here asclepias curassavica, incarnata, cancellata, fruticosa, verticillata, speciosa, purpurasens. Here’s more info:

    Starting Tropical Milkweed Seeds Indoors

    Good luck with your winter sowing!

  • Thanks Tony, I am elated to share with you after 24 days I was able to witness a beautiful Monarch (Male) Butterfly emerge. We pot tropical and swamp. Grows well in pots – even in our South Carolina summers! The only milkweed I overwinter indoors are the varieties that won’t survive our winters. Narrowleaf Milkweed grows in summer-dry places below about 7000 ft. elevation in the western United States from Washington and Idaho south to Baja California, Mexico. Thank you!

    • Hi, I have lots of Aschepias curassavica milkweed seeds. I’d like to keep the swamp in containers to avoid spreading since I have a very small yard, and already am having a few issues with common milkweed aggressively spreading in my garden. I would like to share with others who want to get started growing them for the Monarchs. Be sure to plant enough narrow-leaf milkweed to sustain the monarchs!

      Assess your particular situation, and then take precautions if it makes sense to you. So far I’ve picked two predators off of each plant, after which we’ve seen no more. This plant is a nectar source and host plant for the beautiful monarch butterflies. Gardeners can plant directly in the ground in the fall or transplant in late winter in mild climates. Put pots on raised beds, move them around in the garden, or bring containers to a patio for easier viewing of butterflies and caterpillars. Is that a good thing to do? Plant in a full sun location. I have tons of pollinating seeds to plant next Spring.

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