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how to harvest butterfly weed seeds

Water the butterfly weed seeds whenever the compost feels barely damp when pressed. Apply the water by the spoonful or use a spray bottle to keep from dislodging the seeds.

Sometimes called pleurisy root, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a perennial wildflower grown for its showy, reddish-orange flower clusters and textured, lanceolate leaves. A member of the milkweed family, it thrives throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9, where it is frequently added to butterfly gardens and native plant landscaping.

Gather the butterfly weed seeds in late summer or autumn, once the pods dry to a light, rosy-beige color, but before they split open. Put on rubber gloves before handling the pods to protect your hands from the mildly toxic sap.

Arrange the starter pots on a propagation mat near a source of bright, indirect light such as near a partly shaded south-facing window. Set the temperature on the propagation mat to 86 F during the day. Turn it off at night.

Butterfly weed and milkweed seed pods may be harvested and planted to support Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Butterfly weed grows well from seeds, which must be harvested in late summer and either sown immediately in the garden, or started in spring after a lengthy chilling process. The seeds are viable and will germinate with little care, although they must be planted at the appropriate depth to ensure successful sprouting.

Snip off the pod using pruning shears. Slice lengthwise along the edge using a utility knife. Pry open the seed pods. Scoop out the seeds and fluffy matter inside and place it in a bucket.

Watch for germination in two to three weeks. Turn off the propagation mat one week after the seeds sprout. Move the pots into a cold frame outdoors or against a south-facing wall with noonday shade.

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

Barbara Murray says

Butterfly weed seeds are flat, brown and shaped like a tear drop – and there are a ton of seeds in each seed pod.

More Posts About Saving Seeds

Like I mentioned above, they are attached to white cotton, which can make the task of harvesting butterfly weed seeds a bit more tedious.

Amy Andrychowicz says

Like I said, it can be a bit tedious to harvest butterfly weed seeds, because of the fine fluffy stuff that’s attached to the seeds. So start by breaking open the seed pod.

Amy Andrychowicz says

Height: 24 Inches

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. It thrives in rocky or sandy soil, typically in open fields or along roadsides.

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

HOW TO GROW

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Fast shipping. The plants have not sprouted yet but it is not the season.

Stratification: Cold/Wet for 4 Weeks

Seeds per Ounce: 4,200