Swamp Milkweed Seeds (Asclepias)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a wildflower with very beautiful clusters of pink flowers in summer and is a favorite larval food for Monarch butterflies.
Zones3 - 8
Advantages
Attract Butterflies
Attract Hummingbirds
Bee Friendly
Deer Resistant
Native
Fragrant Flower / Foliage
Great For Mass Plantings
Multiplies / Naturalizes
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Half Sun / Half Shade
Mature Plant Size36-48" tall
Bloom TimeSummer
ShippingMost orders ship within 48 hours. Learn More…
SizePacket
SKUHC013286

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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$3.95
Per Packet
In stock
SKU
HC013286

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Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a wildflower with very beautiful clusters of pink flowers in summer and is a favorite larval food for Monarch butterflies. It grows in medium to moist soil conditions (it doesn't need a swamp) and many types of soil including clay. A great species for rain gardens. USDA zones 3-8. Seeds require special prep for germination. See our planting guide below. Asclepias incarnata native range: AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY.
More Information
SKUHC013286
Common Name
Swamp Milkweed
Botanical Name
Asclepias incarnata
Item Package Size
Packet
Light Requirements
Full Sun, Half Sun / Half Shade
Flower Color
Pink
Bloom Time
Summer
Mature Height
36-48" tall
Wildflower Mix or Specie
Species
Ships As
Seed
Ideal Region
Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest
Zones
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Days To Germinate
Cold Stratification - 30 days
Native To
North America
Seeds Per Pound
76800
Seeds Per Packet
45
Soil Type
Sandy Soil, Loamy Soil, Clay Soil, Moist/Wet Soil
Soil Moisture
Average, Moist / Wet
Advantages
Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Bee Friendly, Deer Resistant, Native, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Great For Mass Plantings, Multiplies / Naturalizes
Ships To Canada
No
Planting Guides

Asclepias (Milkweed) are sun loving plants that are essential perennials for monarch butterflies providing food for caterpillars and nectar for adult butterflies. They bloom from mid-summer into early fall and, with their milky sap, are resistant to rabbits and deer.

Asclepias can be divided into two groups for plant care; Asclepias tuberosa with orange (sometimes yellow) flowers and all the other species with pink (sometimes white) flowers.

Planting Milkweed Seeds:

Milkweed (Asclepias) seeds germinate best under warm soil conditions. The seeds need a cold, dormant period, known as stratification, to germinate.

They can be successfully seeded outdoors in fall in areas that received frost, for spring germination. For mid to late spring planting, all species (A. tuberosa, A. syriaca, A. sullivantii, A. incarnata) will also germinate moderately well when seeded into warm ground after being stratified (chilled).

Dry stratification is done by placing dry seed in the refrigerator for 30 or more days. A more effective strategy is to moist stratify them by mixing seed with moist (not soggy) sand in a zip-lock plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator for 30 days. After 30 days of cold moist storage, the seed's natural chemical germination inhibitors have dissipated and are ready to sprout.

  • Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Butterfly Weed) - this perennial stays dormant until later in the spring than many other plants, especially when grown in pots. It's fine to plant dormant plants; don't up-pot them for planting later in the growing season.
  • Preferred growing conditions:

    1. Need sandy or gravelly soils (except the Clay form which does well in heavier soils including dry clay.)
    2. Does best with gravel mulches.
    3. After their second growing season, only requires deep but infrequent watering. Plant in full hot sun.
    4. Just a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix added to the planting hole is enough. Don't plant into a rich, highly-amended soil.

    Special comments:

    • When planting dormant plants, water thoroughly after planting and wait to water again until the plant comes into active growth, at which time a deep watering every week or so is adequate. Take care not to overwater young transplants.
    • Asclepias has a long, carrot-like tap root that should remain undisturbed after planting and should NOT ever be divided.
  • Most Asclepias species are late to wake up in the spring, and will often be shipped as dormant plants. Don't despair if your milkweed is asleep. The white roots and woody crown are alive just waiting for consistently warm weather to wake up and begin to grow.these perennial species stay dormant later in the spring than many other plants, especially when they are grown in pots. It's fine to plant dormant plants; don't up-pot them for planting later in the growing season.
  • Preferred growing conditions:

    1. These species grow in a wide range of soil types, including clay.
    2. They don't need mulching (except in very hot climates).
    3. These are moisture-loving perennials and do well in wet to moderately moist soil conditions.
    4. Plant in full to part sun areas.
    5. They like compost enriched soils at planting time.

    Special comments:

    • Asclepias syriaca and A. speciosa will spread to make big patches of plants and are best planted in parts of the landscape where they won't crowd out less vigorous plants. Not recommended for the prime spots in your perennial beds.
    • Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a more refined grower and is fine to include in perennial beds.

Oftentimes, Milkweeds won't grow much their first season in the ground, so be patient. They are establishing their root system and crown. By the second growing season, the plants will begin to get bigger and look more robust. Asclepias species are an odd bunch and don't behave like many other more familiar perennials. So be patient and accept their quirky nature.

Garden care:

  1. Fertilize Asclepias just once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II. - Naturalized plantings don't need additional fertilization.
  2. To encourage re-seeding and provide winter interest with their ornamental seed pods, leave the stems intact over the winter. In mid-spring, remove old stems just above ground level.
  3. All species of Asclepias are late to emerge in the spring, so don't be concerned if other perennials come up first and they remain dormant.

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
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