Native Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias incarnata. Monarchs rejoice! The favourite of Monarch butterfly egg laying sites, Swamp Milkweed produces pink flowers over a canopy of foliage. Sow thick in moist sites as to establish a plentiful crop for Monarch larva consumption. Direct sow seeds in late fall or cold stratify for 30 days in spring. Monarch favourite! 36-48" tall. Zones 3-8.
Cold stratify (see below) seeds for 30 days before starting inside 6-8 weeks before last frost date or direct sow seeds in fall for the following spring. Cover seed lightly and provide light with bottom heat, 10-22°c for even germination. After hardening off, transplant in late spring. Transplant 12-24” apart.
Grow many plants in a dense area. Monarch larvae can quickly exhaust their food source with only few plants. The more, the better.
Cold Stratification mimicks a plant’s natural winter to break dormancy. Many trees, shrubs, and perennials require a cold period to break dormancy and start foliar growth.
Cold Stratification Instructions:
Choose a sterile media to grow in. Sand or peat work well. Choose an open-faced container, like food storage container, to stratify your seeds in. Fill your container with your media.
Completely saturate your growing media, draining away excess. Continue to drain away excess until water no longer pools or drips when help in your hands.
Carefully place your seeds on top of your growing media. Depending on the species, you may have to lightly cover the seed.
Place the cover of your container on lightly, not airtight, and allow some air transfer in and out for the container. A tightly sealed container may lead to mold and the process will have to be started again.
Place the container in an area that is 4°c constant like your refrigerator.
Continuously check the media and do not allow it to dry out during the stratification process.
Once the allotted time has passed for the stratification, the seeds are ready to be removed from your fridge and planted.