Transplant Asclepias tuberosa?

kimmers(z4 WI/USA)July 10, 2006

I'd like to have Butterfly Weed in my perennial bed and would like to know if I can successfully transplant a single stem BW now while it's flowering. My soil is very sandy and the new spot is quite dry. The BW is blooming now in my prairie (6' x 100') and I found a few single stems.


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joepyeweed(5b IL)

You can try to transplant but while its blooming is probably the worst time to try.

You might be better off marking the spot now with a plant marker or popsicle stick and then try to move it either when it goes dormant this fall - or early next spring while its very small and not blooming.

It has deep roots so make sure you take a very large and deep clump of soil with it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 10:22AM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Butterflyweed is not easy to transplant. The roots are large and quite deep, and I have failed more times than I have suceeded. However, it is pretty easy to grow from seed. Also, it spreads by seed in the garden, so you might find a few small ones around the flowering plant and you could try to transplant those. The way to get new ones with least impact on existing plants is to collect seeds, store in the fridge over winter or sow outdoors in the fall, and you should have seedlings next year. The seedlings won't bloom the first year, but are easy to grow. This is a plant that generally occurs in small numbers, so it should not be collected from the wild. Seed, on the other hand, is often in good supply in the wild so you can take some without worrying about impacting the wild population.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 3:31PM
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kimmers(z4 WI/USA)

Thank you for taking time to answer as well as the tips. I'll just enjoy them where they are now, watch for seed, and mark for possible fall transplant.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 8:11AM
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If they are really plants with just a "single stem," my bet is you could move them now. Or if the stem has a bloom, maybe wait till it's gone. The root on the single stem should not be that big or deep. I've transplanted ones of that size in the past.

This spring before flowering, I successfully transplanted one with 4-5 stems. I don't particularly advise moving one as big as that. The tap root was deep, and I snapped it off. On the other hand, it survived, perhaps helped by all the rain we've had. It's blooming now.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 12:28PM
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I agree with david -- small plants (one or two stems, haven't bloomed yet) can usually be transplanted successfully. Not a good time to do so now, though. You should probably wait until early fall.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:18AM
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I transplanted a large Zizotes Milkweed (it has a huge tap root also) after it was mowed down and then planted it where I wanted it and gave it some plantfood and it is getting a lot of new growth!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:46AM
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Can I transplant 1 year old seedlings of this species? I intend to sow the seeds in a bed and 1 year later, transplant; tap root...


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:08AM
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