Common milkweed and location.

dainaadeleAugust 13, 2006

I just posted this on the butterfly forum, but now I realize I should have posted this here. How will common milkweed (syriaca) do in my 2 foot wide hellstrip that faces west and is bordered by house and driveway? I rarely water there. I figure it could sucker as much as it wants since there is 8 feet of concrete before it gets to anything else. So long as I cut the seed pods before they bust open it should remain contained. Am I right? I have also only seen it scattered through the prairie, will it grow into a thick stand in that kind of area?

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froggy(z4/5 WI)

common milkweed can be highly aggressive.

i would never purposefully seed it anywhere. it will find its own way.

it doesnt sucker, it heavily seeds. so i suppose if u wanted to, u could remove all the seed pods once they are formed and that could be a management scheme. but isnt life a bit too short? im sure there are better milkweed spp. in ur area that are better suited and less dangerous.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 8:58PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

You might want to try a mix of plants that like dry rugged conditions. You might want to try asclepias tuberosa there too.

Other thoughts: flowering spurge (euphoribia corollata) and prairie dropseed, (sporobolus heterolepis) might fill in nicely there too...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 5:27PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

our flowering spurge is in full flower on the roadsides right now. filled in, its a sea of white. and rugged like joe mentioned.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:40PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

If you want Common milkweed, go ahead and plant it. I wouldn't worry too much about removing the seed pods if there are wild plants nearby - the wild plants already produce enough seed that you could have seedlings popping up.

You see alot of people worrying about aggressive plants in forums like this one, but there is another point of view - I generally like aggressive native plants because they are easy to grow and can compete successfully in tough conditions. Common Milkweed is sort of aggressive, but keep in mind that being a little aggressive in good conditions and growing adequately in tough conditions can be the same thing. I'd rather have a plant that is thriving in a tough situation and have to occasionally remove seedlings, than have the tough spot remain bare or have a struggling plant there. In an established prairie common milkweed shouldn't be able to take over too easily, and it can be controlled simply by pulling up plants around the edges of a clump. In wet conditions you can generally get enough of the root to slow down the spread and keep the clump under control.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 5:35PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Ladyslipper makes a great point, in that location makes a huge difference in how aggressive a plant will be.

I grow some aggressive plants, in conditions that are less than desirable for them - its easier to keep them in check that way.

Common milkweed can be aggressive, but usually its aggressive in moist soils. And even though, it is aggresive, its fairly easy to control. And I think its a great idea for tough spots.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:25PM
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Thanks folks. I posted this and then went out of town. Just remembered when I saw my bag of seeds on the counter. I think I will go for it. I love the scent of the flowers and they would give the area some vertical height. Between the driveway and the house is way too much white concrete.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 7:14PM
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