Sow Milkweed in November

sowmilkweedinnovOnce milkweed pods (Asclepias species) dry and start to split open, collect the seeds and sow them directly where you want them to grow, covering them lightly with loose soil. They need a cold period in order to germinate, so winter will take care of that requirement for you. They’ll germinate at the right time next spring.

When walking in the wild, I’ll ‘help’ the process by grabbing seed to plant, scratching them into the soil periodically as I continue my walk. As far as monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are concerned, there can never be too many milkweed plants!

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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35 Responses to Sow Milkweed in November

  1. cindy knoke says:

    “When walking in the wild, I’ll ‘help’ the process by grabbing seed to plant, scratching them into the soil periodically as I continue my walk.”
    I do this all the time at The Holler. We have a lot of acres, so when the plants seed, I move them along as I move along.
    You’re the first person I know who has mentioned this.

  2. ladyfi says:

    That is lovely!

  3. louise237 says:

    That’s very poetic…

  4. Christina says:

    It’s great to be able to help nature along by spreading the seed further than it might have blown.

  5. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    We don’t have milkweed here Eliza, but I will do what you do and collect wildflower seed and spread it where I would like the wild flowers to grow – helping nature along I see it!

  6. I will have to do this over the weekend! I was thinking of planting some near our pond, so this should work great!

  7. Laurie Graves says:

    Great advice!

  8. Great tip Eliza, even for those of us without gardens!

  9. Kris P says:

    A good reminder, Eliza!

  10. It is definitely deeply satisfying to spread seed around, but I am impressed that you go that extra bit to bury them.

  11. MK says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Eliza. I bought some packets of Milkweed seeds that are supposed to be right for Southern California. They’re around here somewhere…

  12. Alice Pratt says:

    The Milkweed flowers are so gorgeous, in the Spring & loved by Honey bees & other insects.

  13. AmyRose🌹 says:

    I was stunned at the number of milkweed plants we have on our wild part of our property, Eliza. Next year we will have even more. I hope to see more Monarchs next year then I did this one. I actually on my walk today found a dead Monarch which put tears in my eyes. I carefully picked her up and brought her to my home where I buried her under our Butterfly Bush. ❤

  14. Brenda says:

    Milkweed is one of my favorite plants. I could photograph it all day long–all season long, too. Like you, I do my best to scatter the seeds, although I try to avoid the local cow pastures, and hayfields where it’s considered undesirable. Fortunately, there are plenty of good places for milkweed around here, including on the edges of our orchard. Grow on!

  15. Kathy Sturr says:

    Wonderful! I just released a whole bag of pods at the lake by our pond (which is full of water again). I didn’t cover with dirt, though. I think they’ll get “trapped” in the existing vegetation and the snow will “work” them – at least I hope. I hope to have a huge field of Milkweed, Susans, Laciniata and Joe Pye among the existing golden rods and asters.

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