Milkweed fed to captive monarchs can be bleached by soaking 15-20 min in ~5% chlorox solution (regular strength chlorox in tap water), followed by a thorough tap water rinse. Slow soaking and rinsing milkweed seeds removes a naturally occurring chemical from the seed surface to enable quick germination. After clearly labeling the sealed bag as \"milkweed seeds\" and dating it, place it in a refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks. Be sure to clean seeds outdoors if at all possible because the pappi blow everywhere. Cleaning milkweed seed from the pod can be a time consuming and messy business if left for too long. Without prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, your milkweed seed is unlikely to sprout. All milkweed seeds need vernalization, which is a chilling period prior to germination. Our friends at Painted Lady Vineyard and The Xerces Society have provided these detailed instructions to cold soak and stratify your milkweed seeds to get better and faster germination! YES! Milkweed seed planted in fall is naturally stratified. We spread the fluffy seeds out on a concrete floor and light the thin pile on fire, burning the fluff off the seeds. The Ascelpias viridis (spider milkweed) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart. With proper care, they’ll be ready to sprout again the following spring from an underground network of creeping roots. Name: Margaret Delta KY I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure. If you don’t have the time to glean the seed right away milkweed pods should be dried thoroughly for at least an hour in a paper lined flat tray to discourage mold. Milkweed seed can be planted directly in soil, or started indoors. We use a 5.5 hp shop vac but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one that will work. If so we pick it and let it dry in the open, on a tarp or in a shallow container. Milkweed seeds can be sown outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Cut two pieces of the rubbery stuff - one 6" long and 1-2" thin, with one long edge clean and straight. The other piece needs to have one edge (perhaps a 2" short edge) clean and straight. Milkweed seed filaments attached to the vacuum filter and on top of seed in the bottom of the drum. The seed fluff will adhere to the filter and the seed will be in the bottom of the drum. This is how we do it: Common milkweed seed drying on a tarp in the far back corner. Milkweed also spreads easily from seed. Mindy03 Aug 29, 2013 4:22 PM CST. Plant Milkweed The good news is that planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for monarchs. My assumption is that some seed is immature and disintegrates in the shop vac. These seeds are ready to harvest. The gallery of pictures show the method for cleaning milkweed. To separate seeds from milkweed silk – the white fluff inside a milkweed pod to which seeds attach – place a few coins in a clean, empty plastic container. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. There are several dozen species of this wildflower native to North America, so no matter where you live, there is at least one milkweed species naturally found in your area. After stra… (The bag shown here is a large lunch bag. Harvest pods: I don’t even look at a milkweed plant until I see one of the pods fluffing out or opening. It's quick, easy, and fun. The … The coins help to separate the seeds. Simply empty seeds and fluff into a paper bag with a few coins and shake. You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. We have an old fashioned whisk broom to clean our vacuum filters but there may be better tools. This collection includes 6 of our most popular selling Milkweed plants. 11. After vacuuming all the loose seed, I hold the pods of common milkweed and suck the seed out. No need to pick seeds from downy kites. STEP 2: Once bag is filled with fluff, roll top to close and shake vigourously. In most areas, when you plant seeds outside in fall, seeds can go through the cold stratification process naturally.If you are planting seed outside, we suggest seeding in late fall so that Milkweed seeds can lay on the ground through winter. The Monarch butterfly has suffered severely because of this. Milkweed plants survive the winter in cold regions by going dormant. We gently pry the pod open a bit to see if the seed is brown. 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. I learned of the technique from a … Swamp milkweed seed after vacuuming the pods, these do not damage the seed swirling inside the drum like common milkweed pods can. Works, but grocery size bag is preferred.) Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Before all that fluff tickles your nose, invades your hair or gets stuck on your sweater, grab a paper grocery bag. This happens naturally outdoors in a cold climate: the plant drops its seeds in fall and they sprout in spring. Fine to harvest but easier if still contained in the pod for the method described here. Be sure to submerge stalks completely and gently agitate under water. The length of the seeds roots increased but the ungerminated seeds did not germinate. Roll the seeds in a damp paper towel, or place them in moist peat moss, and then put them in a plastic bag. Milkweed plants have become scarce in the United States, as more communities move in on natural habitats. YES! I would like to guess then cold moist stratification prior to water germination could increase the germination rates of the common milkweed seed. There are species that have adapted to grow in almost all climates. Page 2 of 3 • 1 2 3. Stalks can be partially air-dryed or blotted with a clean towel. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. This is a fun and relaxing activity. ; Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. Works, but grocery size bag is preferred.). When & Where To Plant Milkweed. There are a variety of ways to separate the seed from the chaff, or fluff. The pod is still tightly closed so seeds are not ripe. Common milkweed seed drying on a … Milkweed plants in winter are valued by birds and small animals who use their natural fibers and seed fluff in their nests. The coins should help separate the seed. In addition to many commercial approaches for cleaning milkweed seed, here are a couple of home-spun options for separating seed: Shake it off: Fill a paper bag with your collected seed and floss and toss in a few coins. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established. Stratification is when a seed is moistened, chilled or frozen and thawed, breaking down germination inhibitors on the seed coat, such as waxes, hormones, oils or heavy coats. 2. These seeds are not ready to harvest. You can learn more about planting milkweed here! I’ve already collected my light green seed pods that have row after row of beautiful tightly packed seeds. Most of them will result in some milkweed floss/feathers getting in the way of a clean harvest. Just give them a shake. Wearing rubber gloves is Strip seeds, fluff and all into the bag. It is not a task to be undertaken inside the home as the chaff tends to fly about with a mind of its own. Step 1: Pop the pod open at the seam Step 2: Pull the pod back exposing the seeds and the white fluff. Plants in this genus flower during the summer, set seed in the fall, and die back in winter. The simplest process to cleanly save milkweed seeds. Keep in mind that seeds have a range of soil temperatures at which they will germinate. Back in the classroom, groups of students scraped the seeds and floss from locally grown butterfly milkweed out of the seed pods and into large tubs. Common Milkweed – Asclepias syriaca. The stems and leav… If the pod hasn’t opened on its own the seed can easily mold if left in a closed container, even if it’s paper. Refer to the seed packets for special instructions on sowing the seeds. Shake vigorously. Depending on the species of milkweed being cleaned, the pods swirling in the drum may damage the seed. Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. Release for use by critters as a winter home lining or nests in the spring. It’s ok if a few pods fly up the hose but I don’t vacuum pods off the tarp. Milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate. It took about two hours to clean 15 gallons of pods from start to finish and we ended up with about a gallon of seed. NO! Seeds forum: Cleaning Showy Milkweed Seeds. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. I never thought we would harvest and clean common milkweed seed but there is a need that we can easily fill because it grows happily in our pasture. While not required, this helps keep the ground from freezing and thawing and disrupting the roots. But you can help the Monarchs by sowing milkweed seeds to grow an array of different Asclepias plants. STEP 1: Hold split milkweed pod inside a paper grocery bag. If you're thinking about collecting and cleaning the milkweed seeds from your wildflower garden to share or sow, here's a harvesting tip. This may not be the best way to clean small lots of seed where you don’t want to damage any seed at all. For this reason, I prefer to cut milkweed back in spring. Using a combination of large and small vacuums, they separated the milkweed floss from the seeds. 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. STEP 2: Once bag is filled with fluff, roll top to close and shake vigourously. This cleaned seed will be stored and germinated at a later date. Indoors, you can mimic this by placing the seeds in the fridge for several weeks before sowing them. Some of them are quite easy, others require a bit of planning and materials. Strip seeds, fluff and all into the bag. We have seed dedicated shop vacuums at the farm and at home because we have found they are very useful when cleaning seed attached to a pappus. Then I screen the seed to remove fluff and broken seed. If the pod hasn’t opened on its own the seed can easily mold if left in a closed container, even if it’s paper. Depending on the vacuum’s capacity, it will need to be cleaned out when you hear the motor straining. If so we pick it and let it dry in the open, on a tarp or in a shallow container. 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. There are many different methods and variations to get milkweed seeds. You can use the same bag to separate seed as above. Light: Young Milkweed plants need plenty of diffuse light as they grow.Plant in full sun locations. Seed Propagation Cleaning milkweed seeds of their feathery pappi is relatively easy: gently rub the seeds on a 0.6 cm (0.25 in.) Think lots of wildlife, clean water, clear air, gorgeous landscapes, and world-class recreation. The seed will detach leaving the fluff behind. Simply cut last year’s stems back to the ground with clean, sharp pruners. Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. It also varies with the number of pods sucked into the drum. A few months ago, I mentioned a technique that we use to clean milkweed seeds after harvest. Step 2- Removing the Seeds from the Husk. screen and the cleaned seeds will fall through. Milkweed seeds need to be stratified to help them germinate. 4. Then, cut a small hole in a bottom corner of the bag and shake out the seeds. Milkweed Cold Stratification. screening seed after vacuuming: pods scalped off by coarse screen, broken bits fall through a fine screen, Species Inventories – Hay Meadow, Pasture. A clean seed tray (a baking pan works well too) Seed cells Sterilized seed starting mix Milkweed seeds Water It is best to use a designated seed starting mix because it is lighter and less dense than regular potting soil, which allows the roots to establish more easily. It is the primary host plant of the Monarch butterfly larvae and the leaves and foliage provide food for many other insects. (The bag shown here is a large lunch bag. STEP 1: Hold split milkweed pod inside a paper grocery bag. 6. Don't discard the fluff! Views: 4581, Replies: 56 » Jump to the end. Always sweep or pull the filaments off the vacuum filter when emptying the drum. These seeds are ripe and dispersing. The pod has split and the seeds are dark brown. Use the 6" piece to hold down some seeds with fluff sticking out past the 6" edge of the rubbery mat. Many of the asters fall into this category. Cleaning. Winter is a great time to get milkweed seeds in the ground! 3. Like Rodney Dangerfield, common milkweed doesn’t get enough respect. In spring, pull back the mulch to give space to the new growth. We gently pry the pod open a bit to see if the seed is brown. The tackiness of the mat should help to grip the seeds. As concern for monarch populations grows, so does the need for milkweed seed. Tear off a bottom corner of the bag and pour out your clean seed. Only some of the viable seeds seem ready to grow. In fall, adding a 3- to 4-inch-deep layer of mulch helps insulate the soil. The pods once dry can be stored in brown paper grocery bags until cleaning time. 5. After the milkweed has dried a week or so depending on your humidity, it should be ready to vacuum. Common Milkweed pods lying out to dry before cleaning. The method is effective in germinating common milkweed seeds. Customer Resources   |   Services   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Individual Species Seeds   |   Seed Mixes   |   Seed Packets   |   Cover Crops and Seed Carriers   |   Prairie Companions   |   Privacy Policy, All Rights Reserved 2021, OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) - Admin Login   |   Website Developed by Alt Media Studios, Slope Stabilization / Erosion Control Mixes, Receive special offers, promotions and latest news directly to your inbox ». Milkweed seeds can mold easily so I like to use a breathable paper bag or cardboard box when I'm out collecting. Is a chilling period prior to germination for many other insects an array of different Asclepias plants pods. Have row after row of beautiful tightly packed seeds paper bag with a mind of own. Swamp milkweed seed milkweed pods can seed fluff in their nests sowing milkweed seeds removes a naturally chemical... The method described here see one of the drum like common milkweed seed on! 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