Asclepias pod questions

monkeybelle(7A NJ (Camden County))September 3, 2011

My asclepias (well, one of the two that grew from all the seeds I bought) is making some pod-like growths. I am assuming they contain seeds (but if that is not the deal, please let me know!) If they are seed pods, I should be able to harvest them at some point and plant the seeds next year, correct?

Has anyone had any luck at this? How will I know they are ready, what should I do with them over the winter, and is there anything special I should be doing?



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Hi Sandy;
Welcome to the equally addictive world of seed collecting. I about fell to my knees yesterday when I found local green milkweed (A. hirta) with pods.

Anyway, to answer your question, wait till the pods appear to ripen. They will continue to grow, dry a little, then begin to split to release seed. So, it is best to leave them on the plant till this happens. Sometimes they change color from a bright green to a little brown. Just depends on the plant. The one thing is that there are critters that like to eat young pods including monarch caterpillars. So, if you have any on the plant you may want to protect the pod. Netting that excludes bugs may work. By the first frost the pods should be ripe. Most milkweeds need some period of cold to start sprouting (known as stratification). So you have some options. Check out the winter sowing forum for some great advice on a cheap and easy way to start seeds like this.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 4:54PM
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monkeybelle(7A NJ (Camden County))

Thanks, Elisabeth, for the great advice. I'm all for collecting seeds from plants I already own. Leaves more money for next year so I can try out some new plants!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 7:30PM
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