Germinating Desert Milkweed

In December 2020 I started some Asclepias subulata seeds. They started germinating surprisingly quickly, and within a week seedlings were peaking above the peat pods. I recommend starting the seeds in March so the seedlings can go in the ground immediately; they don’t like their roots disturbed.

The great thing about Desert Milkweed seeds is that they don’t need any special treatment, like scarification or stratification, and the plants are very low maintenance!

How to Care for Native Milkweed

  1. Seedlings (in a black cone) can be planted in the ground or in a larger pot. Milkweeds in a 1-gallon pot can be planted in the ground.
  2. Dig the hole only as deep as the roots but twice as wide. Set the soil aside.
  3. Carefully remove the plant from the pot, trying not to disturb the roots too much.
  4. Place the plant in the hole and carefully replace the soil you set aside around the roots. Maintain the soil line (make sure the soil is up to the same point on the plant that it was when the plant was in the pot).
  5. Gently tamp down the soil around the roots. Add more soil if needed to maintain the soil line.
  6. Lightly water the plant until the soil is saturated. Use drip irrigation or turn the hose on so the water just trickles.
  7. Water deeply every day for about 1 week so the roots can get established. Then water every 4-5 days after that. For Asclepias angustifolia, water every 2-3 days. In the summer you can water at the same frequency but for a longer period of time during each watering.

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