Wildflowers forum: White Milkweed in a Container?

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Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Nov 22, 2015 1:59 PM CST
I will be getting some Redring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata) seed from the swap. Iowa is outside of its native range, but I thought to try it anyway. Maybe I can share seed at a later time. Smiling Could this possibly be grown in a container? I think this would be the easiest way for me to baby the plants. The height and spread are not very much, but does it have a deep root? Reading about soil requirements, it needs well drained soil... is standard potting soil considered "well-draining"?

If you do not think this can grown in a container, I think I can squeeze them in somewhere close to the house. I believe that is actually my best soil. Getting out away from it, there is a lot of clay.

Thank you for any advice. :)
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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Nov 22, 2015 5:43 PM CST


I think planting it in a pot is a good idea, milkweeds are notorious for being difficult to cultivate, but it is worth a try. Smiling
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Name: Katie
Oktibbeha Co., MS (Zone 8a)
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Dec 29, 2015 2:03 PM CST
Hi there,
I grow Asclepias variegata myself, and it grows in the wild here in MS commonly enough. I have 2 plants happily growing in 3 gal. pots in well drained potting mix. Here in MS, this species grows just fine in our acidic clay soils.
"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics." — Aldo Leopold

Feb 16, 2016 10:13 AM CST
These are not easy in containers. Maybe if the container was really large. They have notorious roots that dislike containers. I am not that familiar with this species, but with others this is true. There are some tropical and subtropical species that would probably work well in containers. Also nearly all perennials will not thrive in containers if left outside in your climate. They freeze solid and this usually kills them. It sort of becomes USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 1 or 2 in a container. You can bury a container, but you probably will forget one year, as well as being a real pain to bury and dig back out. You can even cover it with tons of snow - or put it against a foundation, and cover it with snow, mulch, loose soil, etc. Sometimes an attached garage can work too. Bringing them into your house usually doesn't work either as they need cold. I have an unheated room with wall sized windows that works with some things. Most people don't have this. I actually lost a couple things this year as it got too cold - even though it was not that cold here - I was not heating the rest of the house much - with the forced air system anyway. I actually bring in water plants - hardy water lilies and lotuses. The nursery people (from the south) said this would not work, but it has for years now!

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