Planting milkweed seed for monarch butterflies is easy if you follow the guidelines. Because it is a perennial wildflower, milkweed does take some time to establish from Milk Weed Seeds You just found our 20+ year ongoing thank you for our visitors. Our goal – Help Nature and others in need. Low cost, high quality seed for all and for some in need *Free*
How to Plant Milkweed
Your milkweed purchase is the first step in creating habitat for the monarch butterfly. It is important to sow the seed correctly to give the seeds the best opportunity to germinate and grow. Make sure that you are able to achieve a good seed to soil/mulch contact before sowing the seed. The seed must contact its growth medium in order to anchor in and begin the germination process. Seeding can occur between October and June, but should not be completed during the summer months. Once the seed is broadcast, work the seed into the soil to a depth of 1/8th inch. This can be accomplished by flipping over a garden rake and lightly moving the seed and the soil/mulch. Straw may be added but is not necessary. Often time, straw introduces weed seed that competes with the milkweed plants.
Milkweed are perennial plants and may take multiple seasons to germinate and grow. Most species need to go through a cold stratification process in order to germinate. This means that if you sow the seed in the spring after the freeze/thaw process the seeds will most likely lay dormant until they can be stratified the following winter. Keep in mind that just because you can’t see the milkweed doesn’t mean it’s not growing. Perennial plants will put down roots for stability prior to emerging above ground. It is these deep root systems that will enable your milkweed plants to be a home to Monarchs for future generations.
Milk Weed Seeds
You just found our 20+ year ongoing thank you for our visitors.
Our goal – Help Nature and others in need.
Low cost, high quality seed for all and for some in need *Free* seeds, just cover postage and promise to share with others. The efforts and generosity of our staff and others like you keeps this possible. Thank you for helping us plant and share the wealth of Nature one seed at a time.
Hello you wonderful caring people that are taking action to support your local Monarch Butterflies! You are the engine that drives our 21 year ongoing campaign to provide Free Education and the seeds to plant the edible homes for Monarch butterflies across North America. Our small staff of very dedicated people are willing to put in long hours to fill the requests you send in with the best Milkweed seed for your gardens.
Please be patient as this tremendous activity was not expected. Yes, we still have seeds and more are on the way from our best suppliers – some of whom are simple families that actually harvested the seeds. Our normal 2 day processing may take an extra week. You still have plenty of time to get seeds to match Nature’s natural timing of milkweed pods opening over the next few months. Seeds can be planted even in cold weather as many milkweed seed types have some dormancy and need the winter cold cycles to be able to germinate.
Your many posts on social media are much appreciated. We ask that you direct all new people to this site first, so they can read our message and get the details they really need. Please do not post our PO Box address or give inaccurate information, causing people to waste postage, envelopes or make mistakes like no stamp or return address for the free seed program. This Free seed program relies on small purchases and contributions to be able to break even. Please understand that in order to continue it we must cover the costs somehow.
Who should be getting FREE seeds? Our program is intended for Kids, Educators and people that really are having struggles and need a smile that Nature provides. It is not a gift program for your friends that can afford to contribute to the campaign. Please take this to heart. While 15 seeds may be enough you might want to share with neighbors and save them the postage and us the extra effort. Please review the seed pack page to use as gifts.
A mountain of incoming mail without postage could end it for everyone so please help us to continue this important community service that covers North America. Yes, Canada we send seeds to you too – the stamp is $1.90 USD. We suggest joining up with a few families.
Asclepias is the main name for milkweed, the varieties we have at the moment are… Syriaca, Speciosa, Incarnata, Tuberosa, and limited Fascicularis for CA, we also have regional specific wildflower mixes that have 12-25 types of flowering plants mostly Perennial. We can add extra milkweed to the mixes if requested.
If you have a strong opinion of what seed you do or do not want please add a note.
Everyone, please take the time to research the best varieties of milkweed for your specific area, US Gov maps below are generally showing where these varieties are currently found. More detailed “Native” maps are on many other sites, review them for new research. If you have seeds to share please contact us. While there are about 80 milkweed varieties in North America many of these are not commercially available and we can not grow them in our region. Please know if you ask us to choose the best variety we will send the most productive we have for the Monarchs. We have drastically limited our use of Tropical milkweed due to the concerns of some researchers… It must be specifically requested and used responsibly as a backup food supply. Please support your local providers and nurseries. They have local knowledge and you can see what is flying around the plants to know what is really productive in your area.
While this site needs to be updated regularly it relied on the best information at the time created. We remain focused on the goal of ensuring the continued Annual Migration of the Monarch Butterfly Across North America. Please make informed choices and care for one another.
God Bless LMF Staff
We need your help. Plant Milkweed everywhere!
C ash or Check payable to “Live Monarch” 40+ seeds per dollar
Live Monarch will send 15+ Butterfly Garden seeds including Milkweed and growing instructions FOR FREE even if you can not afford a contribution. This program was started for schools and broke folks that wanted to help and could use some smiles. Just mail us a self addressed stamped envelope, one per household. A save the Monarch contribution is greatly appreciated to help offset the cost of the many seeds we give away, personally plant and plants we provide to schools and share with others by others that can afford to share in the cost. Please know any small contribution helps keep this campaign going. Thank you!
Monarchs need your help! Some certainly do and especially if you want to see them in your own backyard. According to some researchers Monarchs are threatened and still others say their numbers, while historically much lower, are stable. We have only known about their over wintering sites for a little less than 50 years so it is difficult to ring the fire alarm or signal all clear just yet. But we should all be concerned about our environment and the living things dependent upon it. Some researchers are worried we may lose a larger part of the Monarch migration this year due to climate change if action is not taken to protect their milkweed food supplies and protect safe migratory corridors. Is threatened too strong a statement? The debate continues. Do we want future restrictions on backyard milkweed and school projects? Obviously not.
What actions should we take? Some have criticized any intervention. Some research is confusing and some have wonderful studies with lots of evidence. Some have very strong opinions and shout loudly. It is hard to devote the time needed to understand all the arguments? We understand this frustration and are a little slow to make changes due to the complexity.
A little history – In 1991, over 75% of the wintering Monarchs from North America froze to death in Mexico as a result of three days of rain and sub-freezing conditions. This is when the Live Monarch Foundation was formed to ensure Monarchs would fill our skies for future generations. One person decided to take action, plant a seed and inspire others to learn how to do the same. Over the years we have grown to include thousands of individuals just like you that take action to help the Monarchs, creating refuges for them across North America and around the world.
Natural events are not the only challenges that face the Monarch. Widespread pesticide application and genetically modified crops cover important parts of the Monarch’s migratory path and serve as killing fields for any Monarchs that pass through these millions of acres of toxins and biological agents that kill them and their young. They are unintended casualties in a war to protect crops. What about actual WAR how much food has this destroyed? Can we do better?Monarchs and their migration show us the fragility and interconnectedness of our world and that the actions of some can have impacts on all of us.
We are all part of the problem through the global effort to harness and control Nature in the search for profit. We must research the origins of all our wants to ensure that the products and organizations we support are a true benefit and not a source of misery to the resources used to create them. Our choice to know the source of our purchases gives us the real power to decide what types of people we support and together control over the manner of production used. Please promote the sharing of information widely, scientists you too, so that we can make informed choices and change the world with every one.
Our call to action used to be. “The Monarch habitat must be protected now to ensure their survival, before we see the day when this miracle of nature is only a memory. Please plant seeds and help to ensure their survival. A Milkweed in every yard! “ Maybe we modify that to – Our environment must be protected so all living creatures can maintain their place and with respect and study we provide for the survival of us all great and small.
Click here to see examples of articles that we find objectionable and our comments about them. Click here for our responses and investigations
Attention Educators: We love the hundreds of letters we get from your first grade classes and other students! Keep the letters coming but please remember we have a big expense in seeds and staff time to stuff each of those separate envelopes. We suggest you put all the envelopes or letters into one package and send that to us. You can then donate that postage to the cause instead of wasting postage and many envelopes. This also helps us get the job done faster for everyone. Thank you.
Attention Press: We love the hundreds and sometimes thousands of letters we get from your readers and hope to be an ongoing part of your outreach to your audience. BUT please remember this is a contribution based seed program that relies on the many small purchases in self addressed stamped envelopes that come in to cover the cost to buy and collect seeds, print, pack, open, read, count, answer questions, stuff, seal and all too often include postage on all those requests. We encourage you to send your readers to our site and or this page and make sure they understand our offering is contribution based. We have funds to cover a small percentage of free seed requests but have unfortunately been inundated from time to time with thousands of free requests for materials that have bypassed our web site and are a significant drain on our small staff and limited resources. Trust us, your active audience will definitely contact you if their requests are not filled, please help us keep this program ongoing.
Butterfly Picture Contest: We appreciate the pictures, drawings and letters you send to us and would like to display them on our site. To encourage more artistic creations, we are offering a reward for the best in each age range. Just send in your drawings or butterfly crafts, and you will be entered in our Caterpillar Kit Giveaway. Click here to see some of our thousands of letters and get more information on the contest. Anyone can enter!
Can you afford to do more? Our mission to assist the Monarch butterfly and native animals covers all of North America. Your contributions assist the Live Monarch Foundation to send out many thousands of these Free Seed Packs and Educational materials to children across this continent. It also affords us the opportunity to give back directly to your community in a self-renewing and sustainable way. Any donation over $20 will be eligible to receive a special Monarch thank you gift. At different levels of sponsorship, we can offer the following items or sizable discounts from our online partners and fellow butterfly breeders:
- Special Variety Seed Packs for a complete Butterfly Garden.
- Mature Living Plants ready to plant in your area to attract Butterflies of all kinds.
- Living Monarch Caterpillars and Rearing Kits.
- Live Adult Monarchs ready to fly free at your next special event or celebration.
Community involvement: Monarchs are a miracle everyone should enjoy. We have created a wonderful opportunity for your household, neighborhood, school, place of worship, business, community and even state to make a difference today and ensure the future of our Monarch tomorrow. All it takes is your involvement. The Live Monarch Foundation charter enables them to directly compensate you for your efforts to collect funds. A full 20% of whatever funds you or your group collects can go directly to you and your community. You will directly impact your local area with the creation of natural butterfly preserves through the placement of suitable plants and specially bred caterpillars and butterflies which will continue their life cycle in your preserve as it is established. Imagine what it would be like for you to personally act to bring butterflies back to your community and create a self-sustaining resource for the enjoyment and enrichment of so many in your area. Please click here for examples of programs in action.