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.
Prepare peat or other biodegradable pots before removing the butterfly weed seeds from the refrigerator. Fill 3-inch starter pots with a mixture of half seed-starting compost and half coarse sand. Moisten the mix and press it firm.
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.
Leave the bucket outdoors for two or three days to let the fluff blow away. Stir the seeds occasionally to loosen more fluff. Do not worry if some of the fluff remains, since it won’t inhibit the germination process.
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.
1 – Spray them off with a soapy water mix
If you wish to control Oleander Aphids, you have 3 options:
Butterfly Weed is a herbaceous perennial native to North America. It produces showy orange flowers for up to two months in Summer, with a typical bloom time of June to August.
5 – Keep the soil moist. Water only in the morning (if possible).
Personally, I do not deadhead my Butterfly Weed, as I like to maximize seed production. Deadheading Butterfly Milkweed will reduce the number of seeds produced.
1 – Cold Stratify or Winter Sow seeds. Cold treatment will improve the germination rate substantially.
Butterfly Weed prefers rocky or sandy soil that drains well. It can grow in compacted soil and even clay, but will grow more slowly.
I have a containerized butterfly plant that has done wonderfully this summer, and has many pods now. My worry . . . In northern Minnesota, frost is coming by later October. The pods are yet green and firm. I’d like to harvest ripened pods before I transplant the parent. This is a risk. Any advice?
Amy Andrychowicz says
I live and garden in Minneapolis, MN (zone 4b). My green thumb comes from my parents, and I’ve been gardening most of my life. I’m a passionate gardener who loves growing everything from vegetables, herbs, and flowers to succulents, tropicals, and houseplants – you name, I’ve grown it! Read More.
Amanda Hemmer says
How deep do you plant the seed? How many seed per area?
Collecting butterfly weed seeds can be messy
I don’t think that butterfly weed seeds need cold stratification in order to germinate, but many other types of milkweed do. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to do it for your butterfly weed seeds though. You can just put them in a container the fridge for about a month, and that should do the trick. 🙂