The Q&A Archives: Grow Butterfly Weed From Seed

Question: We have tried to grow butterfly weed from seed 3 years in a row. We have topsoil over construction sand. What should we be doing in order to get the butterfly weed seeds to germinate? Our zone is 7.

Answer: The seeds of asclepias tubrosa need to be cold stratified or chilled prior to germination. You could either stratify them naturally outside by planting them in the fall where you want the plants to grow or outside in pots protected in a cold frame. Indoors, you can plant them in a small pot of barely damp sand or damp soilless seed starter mix, enclose the pot in a small plastic bag to maintain the humidity, and place that in your refrigerator for about a month. Then bring the seeds into normal room temperature to germinate. It can also help to have fresh seed. Good luck with round number four!

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