Posted on

harvest butterfly weed seeds

Awesome! You’re welcome. Butterfly weed seeds are super easy to collect and grow. Have fun!

Unfortunately milkweed bugs do feed on the seed pods and the seeds too. But if your butterfly weed seed pods and/or the seeds aren’t damaged, then they should be fine.

Amy Andrychowicz says

More Posts About Saving Seeds

Butterfly weed seeds are one of the easiest types of seeds to collect from the garden. In this post, I will show how to harvest butterfly weed seeds from your garden step-by-step, and also show you how to store them for next year.

Steve Cochran says

Gently pinch the seeds to tease them away from the fluffy stuff. It can be a messy job, so you might want to keep the vacuum on hand.

Amy Andrychowicz says

Once those seeds emerge, that fluff is everywhere. It will stick to your hands, your clothes, your shoes, your trowel, and your wheelbarrow. An individual seed is large, and relatively speaking, heavy. How this plant has evolved to insure that these big seeds get dispersed is but one of countless stories engineered by nature. I have had occasion to design and install fairly complex landscapes, but this design and execution is beyond compare.

There is a day every gardening season when I make the effort to launch the asclepias seeds. It feels good to think I am doing my part.

This photograph from Wikipedia speaks volumes to the importance of the milkweed. Asclepias tuberosa is a favored nesting site for the Monarch butterfly. At summers end, the wild plants we have growing at the shop will be covered with their larvae. The Monarch larvae feed on these leaves. The butterfly weed is a favored host in my area. They will spin cocoons; the mature butterflies will emerge some four weeks, give or take. Only once have I witnessed a mature butterfly emerging from its chrysalis-it happens that fast.

Once the seeds begin to ripen, the pods will split along their length.

Our local fields and meadows are full of the remains of the milkweed pods come November. They have an elegantly spare and ruggedly persistent shape.

How plants set seed is an event any gardener would appreciate. How the milkweeds insure the survival of their seed is nothing short of miraculous.

Asclepias has much to recommend. The plants are long lived, utterly drought resistant, and carefree. The flower heads of asclepias tuberosa are orange and gorgeous. Asclepias incarnata has flower heads that are a quiet shade of dusky rose. But my main interest in them is the seed pods. The pods are large, ovate, and a compelling shade of bluish green. In late summer, this green phase dominates the plants.