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Do your part to help the beautiful Monarch butterfly with this preferred food source of their caterpillars. Bright pink to red vanilla-scented flowers appear in June and July. Seeds must under go the process of stratification before sowing to ensure good germination, below are some helpful tips for stratification. Full sun. Perennial. Hardy to zone 4.
SMALL FARM GROWN by Milkweed Meadows, Hendersonville, NC
This tropical milkweed is hardy in zones 8-11 and grown as an annual elsewhere. Prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade. Plants thrive in well-drained, medium moisture soils. Once established, will tolerate drought.
Seeds can be started indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Sow seeds 1/8" deep and 6-8" apart. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 65-80˚F. Seeds will sprout in 21-28 days. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 24-36" apart. Transplant outdoors once the danger of frost has passed.
*A note about tropical milkweeds i.e. Balloon Milkweed (Gomphocarpus physocarpus), and Bloodflower Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
There is some controversy over whether it is good practice to plant non-native milkweed. We at Sow True Seed believe that all food and habitat for pollinators is a good thing! However, if you are gardening in zones 8-10, where tropical milkweed can survive year round, please cut back these plants in early fall, before seed pods reach maturity. There is evidence that tropical milkweeds surviving late in the season in the Southern US discourage the proper southward migration of Monarch butterflies by providing egg-laying habitat too far north, when the butterflies should be headed for Mexico. Thank you for caring for our pollinators!