Asclepias – Common Milkweed
A herbaceous plant native to North America, including Canada, common milkweed attracts many pollinating insects and is a valuable food source for endangered monarch butterflies. Perennial in zone 3 and above, it also reseeds and spreads by its roots and rhizomes, so to control its spread, which can become invasive, cut the pods before they release their seeds at maturity.
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Conditions of germination:
- depth of sowing: 5 mm or sow on the surface
- optimal temperature for germination: 25 to 30 ºC
- time for germination: 14 to 42 days
- stratification (cold treatment) strongly suggested: press the seeds into the moistened potting soil, then place the pot wrapped in a transparent plastic bag in the refrigerator for 14 to 30 days. Remove the pot from the bag and germinate under the usual germination conditions of heat and light. Another technique that works well for stratification is to place the seeds between two sheets of moistened paper towels and slip them into a clear plastic bag (such as a Ziploc) or a clear plastic container. In both cases, it is important to check every week that the paper towel or the potting soil is moist by spraying it with a spray bottle, if necessary. After the stratification period, if you have opted for the paper towel, sow the seeds that have germinated in the potting soil. Germination takes an average of 1 month.
When to sow:
- Sow indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date in your area OR
- direct sowing in the fall for germination the following year (cold pre-treatment not necessary)
Sowing technique: broadcasting
- sprinkle the seeds on the ground then spread them out as best as possible so that they do not overlap
Transplantation outside (for seedlings started inside):
- When all risk of frost is removed
Distance in the garden:
- between plants: 20 cm
- between rows: 30-50 cm
Height of the plants: 60-120 cm, up to 150 cm
Soil: all types of soil, well drained
Exposure: full sun, light shade
Flowering: July to August
Maturation: 70 days
- Hardiness zones: 3 or 4
Who are we?
We are based in Montreal and are in partnership with the market gardener Birri of the Jean-Talon market, who has been selling seeds to farmers and individuals for almost 50 years.
Learn more on our About us page
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