Milk Weed Seeds

Bring the benefits of our milkweed seeds for sale to your home garden! Milkweed flowers and leaves are loved by pollinators, especially monarch butterflies. Follow our instructions for starting milkweed from seed, including Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), and Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata). We have found these techniques best for good growing results. An effective way to attract monarch butterflies to your garden is to plant milkweed. We have tips on organizations that will send milkweed seeds to gardeners at no charge.

Wildflowers – Milkweed Seeds

The Milkweed family is known as Asclepias to botanists. These species have become very popular over the past few years because of their unique trait of being a food source for Monarch Butterflies. Wherever Milkweeds are growing in our fields, somehow the Monarchs find them, and there is hardly a time when the butterflies are not fluttering around them. There is a good bit of variability within this genus, so there will surely be something that will work for your location, whether it is sand or swamp, or something in between. We carry everything from Common Milkweed seeds to Purple Milkweed. The Purple Milkweed is probably the rarest form of Milkweed seed that we have for sale, and the bulk stock that we get from time to time is quickly sold out. Browse our selection of bulk milkweed seeds for sale to find the right seeds to plant in your garden!

Blood Flower Seeds Asclepias curassavica Quick View

Blood Flower Seeds

Asclepias curassavica

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

Also known as tropical milkweed, these brilliant red and yellow blossoms explode with color in their first growing season. Every butterfly garden needs this annual plant.

Butterfly Weed Seeds Asclepias tuberosa Quick View

Butterfly Weed Seeds

Asclepias tuberosa

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

One of the most striking of native plants, Butterfly Weed lights up the prairies with its blazing orange flowers. Monarch Butterflies thrive on this plant, so it is a must for any butterfly garden on sandy soil. Butterfly milkweed seed thrives in rocky or sandy soil, typically in open fields or along roadsides.

Common Milkweed Seeds Asclepias syriaca Quick View

Common Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias syriaca

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

This familiar wildflower is a significant food source for monarch caterpillars and butterflies, and so it is used for butterfly gardens and waystations. This common variety spreads easily, but most gardeners do not mind if it spreads a bit.

Poke Milkweed Seeds Asclepias exaltata Quick View

Poke Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias exaltata

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

These tall, elegant stalks can be found in woodland areas across the eastern United States and Canada. The white flower clusters are great for attracting monarch butterflies to a shaded garden.

Out of Stock Prairie Milkweed Seeds Asclepias sullivantii Quick View

Prairie Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias sullivantii

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

These fragrant rose/mauve blossoms attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. This easy-to-grow variety is used in many prairie restoration projects.

Out of Stock Purple Milkweed Seeds Asclepias purpurascens Quick View

Purple Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias purpurascens

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

See also  Bishop's Weed Seed

This beautiful rare milkweed blooms a deep rose color that is close to purple. It is found in woodlands, prairies, and marshes. The leaves are also a darker green than most milkweeds, making a nice contrast. The only downside to this species is that it is rare and hard to get!

Out of Stock Red Milkweed Seeds Asclepias rubra Quick View

Red Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias rubra

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

Attractive to both hummingbirds and butterflies, this variety makes an excellent choice for wetland gardens. The fragrant flowers grow to a medium height, so makes a great specimen plant as well. This wildflower is a rare type of milkweed and is often not available.

Showy Milkweed Seeds Asclepias speciosa Quick View

Showy Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias speciosa

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

A popular native wildflower in western North America, Showy Milkweed commonly occurs on rocky slopes, woodland areas, or streams. The sweet-scented pink blossoms draw many butterflies, so you will want this in your garden if you like butterflies!

Spider Milkweed Seeds Asclepias viridis Quick View

Spider Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias viridis

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

Known to attract flocks of butterflies, this milkweed features greenish-white flowers. It is native to the southern US, so it can take a lot of heat and is fairly drought resistant.

Swamp Milkweed Seeds Asclepias incarnata Quick View

Swamp Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias incarnata

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

These showy, pink flowers give off a sweet scent similar to cinnamon or vanilla. Attractive to butterflies, this variety flourishes in swamps or along streams, so it is a great option for a butterfly plant in a wet setting. Swamp milkweed plants are a staple of many wetland plantings.

Out of Stock Tall Green Milkweed Seeds Asclepias hirtella Quick View

Tall Green Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias hirtella

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

Though not as well known as other varieties of milkweed, this tall variety distinguishes itself with abundant clusters of green-white flowers. It especially attracts monarch butterflies, so it is an excellent choice for a butterfly garden in full sun.

Whorled Milkweed Seeds Asclepias verticillata Quick View

Whorled Milkweed Seeds

Asclepias verticillata

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

This is a milkweed that grows in many regions of the United States. It is a late-blooming variety that is especially valuable as a butterfly host. The white flower clusters on the long, narrow leaves are a late-season food source for the Monarch Butterfly.

The Milkweed family is known as Asclepias to botanists. These species have become very popular over the past few years because of their unique trait of being a food source for Monarch Butterflies. Wherever Milkweeds are growing in our fields, somehow the Monarchs find them, and there is hardly a time when the butterflies are not fluttering around them. There is a good bit of variability within this genus, so there will surely be something that will work for your location, whether it is sand or swamp, or something in between. We carry everything from Common Milkweed seeds to Purple Milkweed. The Purple Milkweed is probably the rarest form of Milkweed seed that we have for sale, and the bulk stock that we get from time to time is quickly sold out. Browse our selection of bulk milkweed seeds for sale to find the right seeds to plant in your garden!

See also  Best Weed Seeds For Cold Climate

How to Germinate and Grow Milkweed Seed

Follow our instructions for starting milkweed from seed, including Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), and Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata). We have found these techniques best for good growing results.

Why plant milkweed? Milkweed are the host plant for Monarch Butterflies: the leaves of milkweed plants are the sole food for monarch caterpillars, and the nectar-rich plants are an essenital food source for adult butterflies. The Monarch Butterfly population has declined a whopping 90% over the past decade due to the loss of meadows and habitat (especially in the Midwest). Plant milkweed in your gardens to help support these amazing North American butterflies!

Getting Started: Understanding Milkweed Seed & Germination

Milkweed seeds require cold stratification.

What does that mean? In the wild, milkweed plants scatter their seeds quite late in the season, at a time when the coming cold would kill any seedlings that germinated right away. However, the seeds of milkweeds (and other late-season flower plants) are cleverly programmed to delay germination until after they’ve been exposed to winter’s cold, followed by gradually rising temperatures in springtime. This adaptation is known as stratification. Cold stratification helps to break the seeds’ natural dormancy cycle. Exposure to winter temperatures help soften or crack the seeds’ hard outer casings.

Without prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, your milkweed seed is unlikely to sprout.

In most areas, when you plant seeds outside in fall, seeds can go through the cold stratification process naturally. If you are planting seed outside, we suggest seeding in late fall so that Milkweed seeds can lay on the ground through winter. This will give your Milkweed seed a long winter of dormancy. Once the sun comes out and the ground is warm in the spring, the seeds will germinate on their own.

In warm zones without winter frost, or if you are starting your seeds in spring, you can cold-stratify seeds in your refridgerator!

At-Home Cold Straification Summary: Put your Milkweed seed in a damp paper towel or some damp sand inside a zipper bag, and place in your fridge for 3 – 6 weeks (30 days). Label your seeds, and be sure to choose a low-traffic place inside your fridge where they won’t get damaged.

Here’s How You Can Get Free Milkweed Seeds to Help Monarch Butterflies

Including native plants in your garden is just one way to help the pollinator population rebound.

Andrea Beck spent more than three years writing about food for Better Homes & Gardens before serving as the assistant digital garden editor. Now, she writes about lifestyle topics, including food, garden, home, and health for Hy-Vee’s Seasons magazine. Her work has appeared on Food & Wine, Martha Stewart, MyRecipes, and more. Andrea holds a double degree in magazines and English, with a minor in politics from Drake University.

Yesterday kicked off the first day of spring, which in my mind always signals the return of blooming flowers, chirping birds, and butterflies fluttering everywhere. Aside from helping pollinate wildflowers, I love seeing butterflies every year because they make gardens look so much more magical and full of life. Monarchs are one of my all-time favorites because of their huge, unmistakable black and orange wings. One of the most effective ways to attract more monarch butterflies to your garden is to plant milkweed, and organizations dedicated to their conservation will sometimes send the seeds to gardeners at no charge. Some butterfly and garden enthusiasts have even taken it upon themselves to make accessing the seeds easy for everyone.

See also  How Soon Can I Weed And Feed After Seeding

A man in Omaha, Bob Gittins, took on a huge role in trying to save the monarchs. According to the Omaha World-Herald, after having trouble finding milkweed plants in stores, Gittins started buying the seeds in bulk from the Save Our Monarchs Foundation in Minnesota. Now, he’s helping other gardeners by giving away the seeds for free. Last year, he sent out 1,500 seed packets.

How to Get Free Milkweed Seeds

If you’d like to take advantage of the free pollinator seeds and sprinkle some in your yard, all you need to do is drop a self-addressed, stamped envelope in the mail to: Nebraska Monarchs, P.O. BOX 642061, Omaha, NE 68164. Gittins will send back milkweed seeds as soon as he can so you get them in the ground.

I found an organization, Live Monarch Foundation, that also offers free seeds. If you mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Live Monarch Seed Campaign, the foundation will send back 15 butterfly garden seeds, including milkweed, for free. If you include a donation for the foundation along with your envelope, they’ll provide you with 40+ seeds for every dollar you donate.

Common Milkweed Varieties

Typically, Live Monarch Foundation has several varieties of seeds, and they’ll give you seeds that are native to your region. They have a few different hardy varieties of this perennial, including Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) and Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed), which can both survive freezing winters after the growing season ends. The foundation also has Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed), which grows well in Southern states like Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.

Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed, and when they hatch, it’s the only plant the caterpillars will eat. That’s what makes it so crucial for helping the next generation hatch each season. And with the monarch population declining, it’s more important now than ever before for us to do our part to help these pollinators rebound.

How to Plant Milkweed Seeds

If you get milkweed seeds for your garden, you can start them indoors in early spring. Growing the plants inside for a few months gives them extra time to mature before transplanting outside. Then, plant the sprouts outside after the last spring frost in your region. In the fall, simply scatter the seeds outdoors; they won’t germinate until they’ve been exposed to freezing temperatures and won’t sprout until next spring. If you’re interested in purchasing your seeds to start, you can find them at most garden supply stores.

While the monarch butterfly population won’t recover overnight, we home gardeners all across the country can do our part to help just by including a few milkweed plants our their yards. Look for them as you’re planning your garden this year, or mail in an envelope to get a few seeds for free. In addition to milkweed, adult monarchs also love nectar-rich plants like lantana, rudbeckia, and yarrow, so you can beautify your garden and help butterflies at the same time!