My method for keeping cut milkweed hydrated
After lots of trial and error, I have devised the following procedure for cutting milkweed to place in small vases or water tubes to feed to my cats: The night before I want to cut it I really soak the ground to allow the plant to hydrate fully. In the early morning I cut the milkweed almost at the base - I find that works better than cutting off the tops. I bring a container of water out to the garden and immediately place the cut stems in water after cutting. When I bring it in I rinse everything with water. Sometimes I get a little wilting, but generally this method has been working for me. Once it is in the house for a few hours I cut sections of stems and leaves with no problem.