Starting Swan Milkweed & Calotropis MW seeds

Tony G(5a)February 6, 2013

Hi everyone,

Last fall was the first time I ever harvested Asclepias/physocarpa swan milkweed (hairy balls) seeds.

I recently started those swan seeds + 2 calotropis species. For the annual/warm weather milkweeds (including tropical) soaking them in water + heat mat = quick, high percentage germination. You can see results from the link below. How is your milkweed seed starting coming along? Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: Starting Milkweed Seeds Indoors

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I have got some Ascelpias incarnata pulchra started under light indoors. Germinated and growing quickly!! Nice when there is snow outside!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:26AM
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Tony G(5a)

I agree! Having milkweed inside makes me forget about the piles of snow outside!

I am not familiar with the subspecies of incarnata...let us know how you like it, Tony

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:08AM
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There was as subspecies of A. incarnata that could tolerate clay soil better, but I don't know if that is ssp. pulchra or not.

I have both C. gigantea and C. procera seeds to start, as well as my own OP seed of A. physocarpa. Last year was a good, long season for production of milkweed seeds, especially those of a more tropical nature. Seems like we may be heading into another early spring here in Oklahoma.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Tony G(5a)

Hi Susanlynn,

I talked to someone in your region that mulched their physocarpa and it's still alive! I brought a plant inside but it either went dormant or died.

My procera and swan seedlings look great. My gigantea seeds were duds.

We've definitely had more seasonal temps here in Minneapolis....still hoping for an early spring though.

Enjoy your weekend, Tony

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:36AM
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I had some duds of C. gigantea last year and went back to my original source - Smart Seeds - this year. Hope they do better

Enjoy your weekend, too, Tony! I'm glad I don't live up North where you are.......brrrrrr! Oklahoma gets plenty cold enough for me.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:35PM
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Tony G(5a)

oops...glad we can edit messages. I was confusing smart seeds with the other company I purchased from. Smart seeds has EXCELLENT seeds....I purchased my calotropis procera seeds from them and 100% germinated. good luck with yours! Tony

This post was edited by coolbutterfly on Fri, Feb 15, 13 at 22:56

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:52PM
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Thanks to you, too, Tony! Keep us posted on how yours do as well. I also purchased some Caelsipinia gillesii (Desert Bird of Paradise) and C. pulcherrima (Red Bird of Paradise) seeds. C. gillesii is hardy here, but the other is a tropical annual in my zone. Gorgeous plants that the butterflies and hummers are both fond of.

OT - I'm also starting some tomato seeds as well. I love the heirlooms for flavor.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:26AM
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I sure hope things start looking better soon down here. A few milkweeds planted in the ground in the yard have shown a few leaves. And I have some in potted plants that are okay. But on my property, no milkweeds growing so far. Wildflowers for nectar outside the yard? One flower open now on the front slope. I feel bad for the butterflies. We need rain bad. Too dry again. At least the Carolina Jessamine in the back yard is blooming a bit. A few small plants that I recently bought also, plus my rue...thank goodness for rue blooms! A few GFs around, sulfurs, even an occasional snout butterfly. The Red Admiral have mostly moved on.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 12:45PM
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I've got a long way to go...
a foot of snow/ice on the ground....
I'm getting a lot of good ideas from this site.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:16AM
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