There is growing evidence within the science community that non-native milkweeds may be causing changes in monarch migration habits and increasing the prevalence of a debilitating disease among the adult butterflies. HISTORY & FOLKLORE Historically, various Native Americans throughout its range have used desert milkweed as a medicinal plant. Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias currasavica) has many variations, but is commonly found in red/yellow or yellow. Alternatively, you could direct sow in the fall, or winter sow the seeds. It seems that the caterpillars pick up the parasite from eating the infected milkweed leaves. Planting local milkweed species is always best. They usually have three types of native milkweed beginning around March. Zones 2-8 Plant in the spring after the danger of frost is gone. California is the center of the distributions for six milkweed species used by monarchs; A. fascicularis (Mexican whorled/narrowleaf milkweed), A. erosa (desert milkweed), A. californica (California milkweed), A. cordifo- lia (heartleaf milkweed), A. eriocarpa (woolypod milkweed) and A. vestita (woolly milkweed). Map ©: Kartesz, J.T. Monroe: Besides the basic premise of learning from nature, by doing the research, (i.e. Zone 5 Planting Schedule Zone 6 … Whether native or tropical, make your milkweed choice carefully and manage your plants intelligently. The parent butterfly will lay its egg on the underside of a milkweed leaf. Fertilize monthly in the summer with a general purpose fertilizer. But they do move around regionally, just not like the big migrations of some areas. Those plants with high concentrations of the protozoan are more likely to kill monarch caterpillars or chrysalises. Unlike Tropical Milkweed, which retains foliage all winter and even a few flowers, our native milkweed is completely winter dormant. It didn’t get much water, and grew in very hard soil, (in Southern California), so I took some branches, rooted them, grew it and am enjoying caterpillars and Monarch butterflies! With deep purple flowers and white to gray fuzzy foliage this plant typically sprawls across the ground rather than growing upwards. Roll the seeds in a damp paper towel, or place them in moist peat moss, and then put them in a plastic bag. Powered by BigCommerce. Others have considered it toxic. (visit our Holiday Hours), Copyright © 2020 | Roger’s Gardens | All Rights Reserved, Monarchs and Milkweed, What Gardeners Need to Know. If you miss the window of opportunity for fall planting, winter sowing milkweed seeds is also an option. California milkweed, Asclepias californica is one of the most beautiful milkweeds in the Santa Monica Mountains. ; Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. In Southern California, gardeners have milkweed choices when outdoor plant shopping. Plant seeds 1/8" deep and 18” apart, using 3 seeds per hole. Drought tolerant, this California native plant grows in some high desert areas and into Baja California. Once established, this native plant is a breeze to grow and requires little maintenance. California on average has approximately 270 days between the last and first frost. To grow Swamp Milkweed from seed, cold stratify in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for 2 months, stored in a zip lock bag. Sitemap Call ahead to confirm species, quantity and verify plants have not been in contact with neonicotinoids or pesticides. Tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, was visited by this monarch caterpillar who is now off to find a … My hope is that, if I can get California native milkweeds established in my garden, you should eventually be able to get the right kind of milkweed for Los Angeles via Cityscape Seeds. Water once, and then allow the winter rain and/or snow to provide moisture until the spring. It is a perennial and has thick wooly stems that are low to the ground and bending upwards. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. It is native to California and northern Baja California from the East Bay region southward and the foothills of the Sierras. Water once, and then allow the winter rain and/or snow to provide moisture until the spring. About California Milkweed (Asclepias californica) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant Add to My Plant List; Asclepias californica is a species in the Apocynaceae (Dogbane) family known by the common name California milkweed. Biota of North America Program (BONAP). Narrowleaf milkweed is a perennial flower native to parts of the western U.S. Plant seeds during the cool season of Zones 9 and 10. Weather permitting, Game & Fish will plant milkweed in Cornville, Springerville and Safford in January and February. In Southern California, gardeners have milkweed choices when outdoor plant shopping.For decades the most common milkweed species in our gardens has been a Central American species sometimes called Tropical Milkweed, or more correctly Asclepias currassivica.It is a magnet for monarchs and even a single plant in a garden will soon display a few colorful caterpillars dining on its leaves. Nonetheless, there still may be an issue. When to plant milkweed. All prices are in USD © 2020 Butterfly Encounters. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Fortunately, our monarch butterflies in California and other western states are far less migratory than their Eastern brethren, so the issue of effecting their migration habits does not apply as much to our region. In California it is found in the Sierras and Coast Ranges, from Tulare County to Modoc and Siskiyou Counties. In fact, many California plants do not need a frost to trigger germination, but it is on a species by species basis. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Step 2: Add soil I like to pour a heaping amount of soil mix onto the center of my seed insert and then spread it evenly with the edge of my seed packet or anything with a straight edge. Your efforts will help bring back the Monarch’s and restore their populations to healthy levels. Milkweed is also well known for attracting butterflies and serving as a host plant for their caterpillars. quester the plants’ chemical compounds, giving them pro-tection by making them distasteful to predators. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. If you live near overwintering sites, consider planting early spring, late-fall, and winter-blooming nectar plants instead of . Growing Instructions: Start California Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. Spring seed planting. We promise to never spam you, and just use your email address to identify you as a valid customer. It is an important monarch butterfly caterpillar host plant. Milkweed is slender and doesn't need much room to grow so go ahead and plant many seeds! About November the foliage will quickly yellow and begin to dry. The seeds will germinate 10 - 20 days after the danger of nighttime freezing has past. 1-2 months after your seedlings have sprouted next spring, pinch off extra plants (or consider transplanting) to achieve ideal spacing for your specific milkweed. Native Narrow-leaved Milkweed is perfectly suitable to most of our gardens, as long as you understand its growth cycle and know what to expect. Since the 1980’s, California’s monarch population has declined an estimated 97%. The invertebrate conservation group The Xerces Society recommends native milkweed species. In northwest Florida, the milkweed species most planted has been tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, as it is lush, showy and easy to grow. According to Theodore Payne Foundation, wait until the weather warms up in March – here are their instructions. With a blooming period lasting from May through October, narrow-leaved milkweed provides plenty of nectar for adult monarchs, but more importantly, it provides the necessary leaves that Monarch butterflies depend upon, and not the harmful protozoa. Milkweed plants, in all their various forms, are the exclusive foodplant of Monarch butterflies, so gardeners can play an important role in monarch ecology, and hopefully their recovery. Photo by Jacoba Charles. Shortly after this, the entire plant is generally cut back to near the soil line to let it rest until the following spring, when it will burst out with a fresh season of growth. Milkweeds in the genus Asclepias provide the only plant material monarch caterpillars can eat. 3 Toxicity to Livestock Milkweeds are a necessary plant to This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial that grows to about 4 feet tall. Milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate. Hummingbirds, bees, and beneficial insects love it too! NATIVE MILKWEED IN CALIFORNIA. The Ascelpias viridis (spider milkweed) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart. The range of desert milkweed extends from western Arizona and southern Nevada, into southeastern California and Baja California, Sonora, and Sinaloa, Mexico. Be the first to review this product! California Milkweed is native to the following state: California. Plant seeds 1/8" deep and 18” apart, using 3 seeds per hole. Pick a location with full sun and prepare soil for good drainage, if needed. We supply Narrow-Leaf Milkweed Asclepias fascicularis seeds to individuals across southern California who would like to take action to help restore monarch populations. There are also many non-native varieties of milkweed that grow well here in southern California. I generally winter sow, as that is the easiest if you are trying to get a set number of plants. Narrow-leaved milkweed, or Asclepias fascicularis, is a relatively showy plant reaching about three feet in height with pale pink to cream colored flowers. Three or four years ago I bought a milkweed plant at a local nursery with the hope of attracting monarch butterflies. Before planting the seeds, soak them in warm water for 24 hours to ensure that moisture breaks through their hard shells and reaches their tiny embryos. This product hasn't received any reviews yet. Matilija Nursery Moorpark, CA. Tropical milkweed should be cut back to the ground in late fall, in areas with mild winters where plants do not die back naturally. Water regularly allowing the soil to go nearly dry between each watering. Using the planting schedules below will help you get the most out of your garden. Then, as Fall approaches, cut back your Mexican Milkweed to the ground. We recommend letting flowers stay in the garden. As with all species of milkweed, pinching off the blooms once they are spent, a process called “deadheading,” can greatly prolong the blooming season. When & Where To Plant Milkweed. Showy milkweed is native to much of the western half of North America. Begin by planting the local, Native milkweed to promote future years of Monarch habitat in your garden. Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. Almost always, more milkweed plants means more Monarch butterflies. Grow Native Nursery, 2 locationsClaremont, CA & West Los Angeles, CA. Other planned sites are near Buckeye, Black Canyon City and Bullhead City. (We recommend you take this action in October, but if you have let it grow … California. It is a magnet for monarchs and even a single plant in a garden will soon display a few colorful caterpillars dining on its leaves. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. Light: Young Milkweed plants need plenty of diffuse light as they grow.Plant in full sun locations. "The challenge is keeping the food here," Day says, noting that a few monarchs can defoliate a plant in a couple of weeks. We will remain open and will continue to follow COVID Safety Measures. Corona del Mar, CA 92625, Open Daily 9 AM – 8 PM Although you can plant Milkweed in the spring after cold stratification and starting seeds indoors, fall is the easier — and more natural — time to plant. You can plant milkweed seeds in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked, but they will need to be stratified for 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator before … You can collect your own seed or purchase seed or plants to add to your garden, or any landscape in your community. Some seeds do need a hard frost to germinate, but milkweed seeds do not. Pick a location with full sun and prepare soil for good drainage, if needed. If you prefer to plant the seeds outdoors in the spring, read our detailed instructions on cold moist stratification. After clearly labeling the sealed bag as \"milkweed seeds\" and dating it, place it in a refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks. Simply sprinkle seeds on well-tilled soil and pat them down, add a topdressing of soil, and water them in. With a minimum donation of $5, you will receive a packet of milkweed seeds and planting guide to turn your garden into a sanctuary for monarchs and pollinators. Whether to grow milkweed from seed (l), transplants, or rhizomes may depend on the species and the location. That way, the plant keeps putting out more flowers in an effort to fruit and reproduce. When do you plant those seeds? Fall-sown seed will be naturally stratified outside. California Pollinator Plants Native Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) don’t plant milkweed where it didn’t naturally grow AND plant the native species) Liam tucks in another universally solid suggestion: plant nectar plants! Growing Instructions: Start California Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. After stra… For decades the most common milkweed species in our gardens has been a Central American species sometimes called Tropical Milkweed, or more correctly Asclepias currassivica. It disappears completely in the winter – and that is perfect for monarchs! Planting and Establishment. Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. My message is don’t baby this plant, it is a weed! Plant seed in fall in a sunny location. Once the seedlings reach 1", thin out so you have individual plants spaced 18” apart. 2013. 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