How I Grew Swamp Milkweed From Seeds

I had read that milkweed was easy to grow, but I had to experiment with it. I wondered to myself Can I grow milkweed from the seeds that our milkweed plants developed? How hard is it to get them to grow?

Growing swamp milkweed from seeds that you collected is easy and cheap to do.

First, you need to collect seed pods in the fall. I waited for the seed pods to start to turn brown and begin splitting open. Some of them had already opened, and the seeds were on fluffy like cotton like pieces. Those had easily floated away, but we still had many seed pods just splitting.

I got a whole baggie half full of the seeds themselves by pulling the pods open and pushing the seeds into a brown bag, which I left open, so they’d dry out. I left them that way on the counter for a few weeks.

After they dried out for a few weeks, I transferred them into a plastic baggie and ended up with it being like half full. I left them in the baggie in the garage over the winter, so they’d dry out. I had hundreds or maybe thousands of seeds.

In February, I put the baggies of seeds into the refrigerator, since they need to be cold for a month or so that they will germinate. They require cold stratification to break down the outer shell, so they can get water into the seed to wake from dormancy.

After they were in the fridge for a month or month and a half, I soaked them in water overnight.

The next day, I prepared a bunch of pots with potting soil and placed two or three seeds into each pot, then covered them with a thin later of soil.

I left them in the sun on the garage floor for a month and nothing really happened. I kept the soil damp still, hoping they would eventually germinate. While I said that I placed them in the sun, there’s not a ton of sunshine that comes in plus the floor is a bit cold, but it’s the best we had available. I had figured maybe the seeds were not viable or something, but I still kept them wet.

Once I had given up on them, I sat them out on the patio table. They got much more sun out there, and by that time it was getting warmer outside.

They did grow. All but one pot had a couple of seedlings after a couple of weeks. We planted what we were going to plant in our pots and put more in the ground. I made a few mistakes, but they successfully grew with minimal time and effort by me.