Harvesting seed pods will give you an abundance of Butterfly Weed for your garden. Enhance your pollinator garden with easy to grow Butterfly Weed. Saving butterflyweed seeds Monarch butterflies aren’t the only ones that love butterflyweed. Finding Asclepias tuberosa or Butterflyweed seed pods is relatively easy. Getting the seeds without
Harvesting Seed Pods: Butterfly Weed
Harvesting seed pods is so much fun. Whether your are picking up pods from your own garden or finding a few on a nature walk, seed pods will offer up an abundance of seeds for the following growing season.
You will know a seed pod is ready when it starts to look a little brown and feel dry. I also think that ripe pods will feel a little light in weight and not as hard when you give it a little pinch. You will want to snip your pods before they open and all the seeds fly out. If you are worried you might miss it, consider gently wrapping a rubber band or string around the pod to prevent the seeds from floating away.
In this post we are looking strictly at harvesting seed pods from Butterfly Weed. After Butterfly flowers later in summer, it will start putting out seed pods. The pods are small but bountiful. Wait until you see the signs that the pod is ready and, wearing garden gloves, give it a snip.
Open you pods indoors because the slightest wind will send your seeds soaring through the air. Keep you fingers tight on the little cotton fibers attached to the seeds. You won’t want these floating around your house either. Gently scrape your seeds into a container and store in a dark dry place.
Growing Butterfly Weed From Seed:
Personally, I sow my Butterfly Weed in the fall, but if you would rather start them inside you will want to store your seeds in a damp paper towel in your refrigerator. These seeds need a cold period in order to germinate in the spring. Start your seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Only transfer outside when temps have officially warmed and the Butterfly Weed has put out a set of true leaves and develops nice healthy tap root.
If you are looking for some Butterfly Weed, check out my seed shop and pick up some straight from my garden.
Saving butterflyweed seeds
Monarch butterflies aren’t the only ones that love butterflyweed.
Finding Asclepias tuberosa or Butterflyweed seed pods is relatively easy. Getting the seeds without a load of the white “silks,” however, can be a bit more difficult unless you know how to open and hold the pod for seed saving.
As you’ll see in the short video, you want to start by tearing off the fatter end – the part that was attached to the stem.
Then carefully pry the pod open and firmly grasp the pointy end. (That’s what I was signalling by clamping my fingers in the video – hold the pointy end firmly!) This keeps the silks firmly in place so you’re removing the seeds only. Then scrape.
After collecting the seeds I like to leave them in an open container for a few days so they can dry out before placing them in the refrigerator.
You can also see here for full instructions on how to sow immediately or to save and cold stratify the seeds.
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