Lightly cover with soil and water well. Place 3-5 seeds on top of the soil in each container or cell. Plant roots need oxygen and wet soils do not offer enough to most plants. Swamp milkweed requires full sun. The alkaloid content in milkweeds is bitter. The following native perennials perform well in moist to wet soils in partial to full sun. Possible landscape sites include water gardens, rain gardens, and naturalized areas. ... Plant in full sun to partial shade in consistently moist to wet acidic soil. To get a butterfly’s attention, consider plant large groupings of three to five plants in different spots, and near water features in your gardens. Monarch Butterfly enjoying Swamp Milkweed. Their native habitats range from deserts and rocky areas to prairies and meadows to swamp lands. This plant needs full sun or partial sun and moist soil to thrive. As a beneficial plant, Swamp Milkweed buds continue to open at different times on the same plant to offer nectar and pollen. Swamp milkweed prefers wet soils, but will grow in average soils. Dusty rose-colored flowers are produced in dense, flat-topped clusters in late summer. We have a Height: 4 feet. that some plants are deer resistant. Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is typically found in prairie potholes, at the edges of marshes, and in wet ditches. Bloom Time/Color: Late summer/Pink Wet locations can be challenging, but they also provide gardening opportunities. Well-drained soils are generally best but there are some species, e.g. If you take a handful, you should be able to squeeze it and only have a few drops fall out. The leaves also serve to feed young Monarch caterpillars. Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. When you grow mass plantings of Milkweeds, bees can easily see Swamp Milkweed from some distance away. Seeds should sprout in 1-2 weeks. Very interesting article on Milkweed and Butterflies. Sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. If there is still a chance for frost, you can germinate seeds inside and grow using fluorescent or LED lights. A. incarnata (swamp milkweed) and A. sullivantii, which do well in saturated conditions. Ames, IA 50011-2031 Several species of Liatris are native to Iowa. Sustainably harvested, non-GMO wildflower, native grass, and vegetable seeds balls. Flowers vary from pink to nearly white and have reddish purple throats. Rose mallow doesn’t bloom well in shady locations. Grow it as an annual in wet soil (or even standing water) or bring it in as a houseplant and enjoy the foliage all winter. Step 5. Swamp milkweed has 3- to 6-inch-long, lance-shaped leaves, grows 3 to 4 feet tall, and blooms from July through August. Clear and loosen the soil in a sunny spot of the garden. Many gardeners report having poor success growing this species. Identifying wet soils: the plants that like “wet feet” are able to grow and tolerate the more water-filled soils. Wet the soil and allow it to drain before scattering seeds and covering with about 1/4 inch of soil. The plants spread naturally by wind-borne seeds and by creeping roots that spread out slowly under the ground. It’s shorter-lived than other milkweeds. For many years, milkweed has been sprayed with herbicides and eradicated from farms, yards, and public landscapes because, although native, was undesirable in those areas, and its ecological importance was not appreciated. It can reach a height of 3 to 4 feet. Planting the Seeds. Landscape: Swamp milkweed is a tall plant with fragrant, showy clusters of pink and light purple flowers. This milkweed prefers medium to wet soils. Photo Will Zacker. Press the seeds firmly into the soil. One of the most striking native perennials is the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). With young common milkweed, I cut a big circle around the plant, then go deep, and take out the whole mass. Light: Full sun or part shade. Species for wildflower seed balls (Gallery), Ten Reasons to Garden with Swamp Milkweed in Wet Soils, With a record amount of rainfall this summer, Swamp Milkweed caught my attention because this versatile. It will grow best in consistently moist to wet soil. CARE: Keep soil damp but not excessively wet until plants are 3-5 inches tall. Deer find it repugnant and avoid eating milkweeds. The flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and bees. Milkweed seeds need good contact with the soil to germinate. Many milkweeds are suited to dry soils but some, like swamp milkweed, need moist and rich soil to grow well. Use this plant in bog gardens or other moist to wet sites as along a stream or pond or in rain gardens. Swamp milkweed (along with other milkweed species) is a food source for monarch butterfly larvae. Soil Moisture: Wet. Monarchs will visit your Swamp Milkweed to lay eggs and reproduce on their way north. Plants are typically short-lived perennials. speciosa) has rosy pink flowers. Joe Pye weed’s nectar-rich blooms also are a butterfly favorite. The plant’s large size and its propensity to spread limit its use to large landscapes and naturalized areas. As a landscaping plant, Grow Swamp Milkweed looks great next to water features in gardens and attracts butterflies to your garden. The flowers are followed by 3 to 4 inch pods which contain numerous plumed seeds. Monarch Butterfly enjoying Swamp Milkweed. Native plants support native pollinators and integrate beautifully into the ecosystem. I pulled up about 3 feet of the rhizome and coiled it up in a flower pot with potting soil resulting in a vigorous lush milkweed bush. Southern blue flag (Iris virginica var. The genus Asclepias is thought to have been named for the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios.1 Asclepias tuberosahas several common names including butterfly milkweed, butterfly weed and orange milkweed. Planting this on dry sites … As hinted at by the name, this plant likes to have wet feet (moist soil). Rose mallow (Hibiscus laevis) is most often found in the southern half of Iowa in wet soils along streams, rivers, ponds, and marshes. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Where the soil stays damp or slightly wet, grow. Flowering begins at the top of the spike and moves downward. Canada is the northernmost range of milkweed plants, and there are not many milkweed species that grow well there. Pollinators rely on dependable feeding habitats year after year. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and produce creamy white flowers (sometimes tinged with pink) on dense, terminal spikes in August and September. How to Grow Milkweed Plants Planting Season. It does well in landscape plantings with moist soil and in plantings near bodies of water. Pink swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) naturally occurs in wet prairies and swamp edges, habitats that can be found locally in places like Big Cypress National Preserve and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Swamp Milkweed Growing Conditions. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and have narrow, sword-shaped leaves. Sun Exposure: Full, Partial. Bees may travel from five to forty miles a day. This plant is native to North America and is found widely distributed across this continent in addition to being grown ornamentally in many regions of the world. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. More than 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to the U.S. and Canada. Plants tolerate short dry periods, but prefer soils that are consistently moist or wet. The 3 drooping “petals” have yellow midribs. When your milkweed has reached 3-6 inches, it is ready to be planted outdoors! In dry soils expect it to be short-lived. It grows from 3-4 feet tall in part to full sun. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed. This article was originally published on February 9, 2018. The plant originated in Central America and has gradually moved north. are very scarce. Common milkweed will grow in nearly any type of soil but should not be planted in soil that remains wet for long periods of time. Plants can be successfully grown in home landscapes in areas that are consistently moist. It is good to see Plant your seed. Flowers vary from light blue to purple, but are most often violet blue. Specialized Honey Bees called Scouts spend a lot of time in the air. Add Blake’s Five Monarchs on a Swamp Milkweed photo, Swamp Milkweed is a longlasting, bright pink flower for summer and late season pollinators Photo Betsy Nottingham, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Swamp Milkweed, USDA map of Swamp Milkweed in continental United States, Morgridge Institute for Research, Blue Sky Science: “Do plants produce nectar every day?”, Philadelphia Water Department Stormwater Management Practice Guidance, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Monarch Butterfly Migratory Route, The National Wildlife Federation Garden for Wildlife Swamp Milkweed. Joe Pye weed performs best in moist to wet soils in full sun. Prairie blazing star grows 3 to 4 feet tall, has narrow, lance-like leaves, and blooms in mid- to late summer. The flowers are larger and more showy than some other species, and this milkweed has one of the widest distributions throughout the US. Uplands plants tolerate drier soils and more drought-resistant species. Swamp milkweed is a perennial flowering plant found in wet and damp soils like those near rivers, streams, ditches, and swamps. An open, flat mud puddle near the milkweed attracts Butterflies for “mud puddling.” Butterflies like to gather in mud puddles to drink and sip salts from mineral nutrients in soil. plant likes wetter soils and even clay soils. The Monarch Butterfly loves the nectar of Swamp Milkweed flowers throughout the bloom season. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. It is found in moist locations along streams and marshes and in moist alluvial woods. The vanilla-scented flowers are pale pink to rose-purple. Several native grasses and sedges are also suitable for moist to wet soils. It is often one of the first plants to grow in an abandoned field or other disturbed area but does not do well when crowded by other plants. Obedient plant prefers moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Water frequently after planting until plants become established. Native milkweed is a perennial, which means it is a plant that returns and grows the next year where it was planted. When selecting perennials, it’s important to choose plants that are suitable for the site. Plant near the edge of the water, but not in the water. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Swamp milkweed is an excellent perennial for low sites or other moist locations in the landscape. Kneel or crouch down, say about a foot or two feet from the ground and look across the horizon at all the high and low places in your garden from several different angles. Flowers appear in summer with pink tones. This effects the growth of the plant. On the return trip, they can sip nectar from late-blooming flowers in your garden. Possible planting sites include water gardens, rain gardens, pond banks, landscape beds, and naturalized areas. It is somewhat drought tolerant, although it grows best with consistent moisture. The obedient plant is a rhizomatous perennial that spreads aggressively in favorable locations. Plants tolerate heat and humidity, but not dry soils. deer problem in our neighborhood. This North American native blooms summer through fall and provides food for caterpillars as well as adult Monarchs and is a great milkweed … White turtlehead (Chelone glabra) is most often found along streams, marshes, and other wetland areas in the eastern portion of the state. The stems and leav… The cardinal flower requires moist to wet soils. Milkweeds (Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. Take a closer look at your landscape’s characteristics. Required fields are marked *. Plants are typically found on stream banks, edges of marshes, and wooded flood plains. In my completely unscientific kitchen experiments, I’ve noticed that Monarch caterpillars PREFER Tropical milkweed. Swamp Milkweed is found naturally along creeks, lakes and water edges. In August and September, plants produce hollyhock-like, five-petaled flowers. Swamp Milkweed naturalizes, creating large broad waves of color. This species grows best in full sun. As the name implies this milkweed will tolerate and prefers to grow in moist, boggy soils. Copyright © 2020ISU Extension and Outreach Competing weeds may need to be removed periodically. This free-flowering native milkweed usually only grows 12-24 inches tall, continually sending up stalks topped with white blooms that often have a … Florida native milkweeds can be found in a variety of soil conditions, ranging from very wet to very dry. It is extremely rare in Iowa and limited to counties along the Mississippi River. It grows in dry prairies, roadsides and gardens with well-drained soils. Where to Plant Most milkweed species evolved in open areas where they were exposed to full sunlight and they will do best if they are planted in the sunniest areas of your gardens. In fact, pollinators even return to the same flowers, coming back several hours on the same day to check the. However, plants tolerate clay and other poor soils. This plant can grow 5-8 feet tall, so if space is a problem look for the dwarf variety ‘Little Joe’ that only grows 3-4 feet tall. Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum) is a tall, native perennial. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. It has no insect or disease problems, but it does best in moist or wet soil. Avoid using insecticides/herbicides in areas planted in milkweed. It is best to plant the seeds as early as possible, but make sure that you plant after the last frost. Do you see. In landscape beds, plants should be dug and divided every 2 to 3 years to contain their spread. Naturalized patches follow patterns in nature, not artificially straight lines. Step 5: When your milkweed has reached 3-6 inches, it is ready to be planted outdoors! The name “milkweed” comes largely from the milky white sap that will ooze out of stems and leaves when broken. The beautiful pink flower clusters appear in June to July and continue until early fall. Unlike many ornamentals, swamp milkweed tolerates heavy clay soils and is very deer-resistant. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. Also, plant roots that stay too wet too long are more likely to have disease issues. Red Milkweed is a native perennial wildflower found in the sandhills, swampy areas, and wet pine savannas from New Jersey south to Florida and west to Teas. Water: Plant in moist or wet soil Pinkish purple flowers are produced on 12- to 18-inch-long, upright spikes. Plants have lance-shaped, finely toothed leaves, grow 2 to 3 feet tall, and produce terminal spikes of cardinal red flowers. Since milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars can eat, the availability of milkweed is necessary for the survival of this amazing butterfly. Native milkweed is a perennial, which means it is a plant that returns and grows the next year where it was planted. Not only is milkweed a beautiful addition to the garden, but it is the only food monarch butterfly caterpillars can eat (what is called a host plant). Swamp milkweed, as the name suggests, grows best in moist, wetland areas. Plants can be successfully grown in full sun to partial shade as long as the site has a uniformly moist soil. Pollinators rely on dependable feeding habitats year after year. The Fukuokan Dream and Dashed Hopes in the US, Why Green Gifts are Important for our Kids, As a native perennial, Swamp Milkweed grows in most. I like seeing lots of butterflies in my garden but they Some species grow exclusively in specific regions while others will thrive in jus… Southern blue flag spreads by rhizomes and develops into dense colonies when located in favorable growing sites. So are the bees. Butterfly Weed and Whorled Milkweed grows best in dry conditions. Rose mallow grows best in moist to wet soils in full sun. Save my name, email, and site URL in my browser for next time I post a comment. It is most commonly found in the north central portion of the state. … The snapdragon-like flowers somewhat resemble the head of a turtle, hence the common name of turtlehead. It is most commonly found in moist meadows and marshes in northeastern Iowa. This plant prefers to grow in damp or wet areas near ponds or bogs in full sun or partial shade but will survive in drier areas if it gets sufficient water. Performs best in full sun and moist soils. Butterfly milkweed is a clump-forming perennial growing 2 feet tall. 9 Swamp Milkweed and the Monarch Migration Route, Monarch Butterflies follow a known established migratory route which presents challenges to find feeding sites and pollinator gardens along the. Swamp milkweed is an excellent perennial for low sites or other moist locations in the landscape. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 6, where it grows as a perennial. Your email address will not be published. Deep-rooting, perennial plants help slow down the flow of fast-moving water during storm runoff. This species has large displays of pink flower clusters, grows to 3 or 4 feet in height, and prefers full sun. Plants bloom in late spring. Many have adapted to different regions of the country and a wide range of climates and terrains, from deserts and rocky areas to marshes and open prairies. Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata is a resilient, adaptable native plant for perennial gardens, butterfly gardens and rain gardens. However, plants will tolerate partial shade. Monarchs are a species at risk from loss of habitat and need patches of milkweed. 2150 Beardshear Hall shrevei) grows in wet soils along lakes, marshes, and streams. Southern blue flag grows best in moist to wet soils in full sun. The seeds won't germinate until spring because they require natural freezing and thawing to soften the seed coat so that the embryo plant can grow. Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch, points out that Tropical milkweed is the plant on which Monarch butterflies evolved. Fall Planting - Fall is the best time for planting milkweed seeds. The soil should be moist but not dripping wet. Plants grow 4 to 6 feet tall. It takes a long time to regenerate depleted nectar in plants. It likes wet, clay soil, but it also prefers full sun. Another common name is rose milkweed. The native peoples of the Pueblo region used the seed pod fibers to spin yarn to weave fabri… Milkweed has traditionally been used for food, fiber and medicine by indigenous peoples throughout the United States and Canada2. It is also referred to as false dragonhead. Plants tolerate short dry periods, but prefer soils that are consistently moist or wet. Pink turtlehead (Chelone obliqua var. A. curassavica is quite tolerant of different soil types, growing well in dry, moist and wet soils. Tropical Milkweed performs beautifully in hot, humid conditions, and can be grown as an annual in the north. (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | PoliciesState & National Extension Partners, By Richard Jauron, Department of Horticulture, Like us at Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, Like us at Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Planting Milkweeds to Help Conserve Monarch Butterflies. Photo, Betsy Nottingham, Monarch caterpillar and Swamp Milkweed, late summer. Although swampy in nature, this milkweed can do well in garden settings with moist soil … A vegetative cover of Swamp Milkweed prevents soil erosion. Wet the soil and allow it to drain before scattering seeds and covering with about 1/4 inch of soil. Generally, milkweed prefers full sun. Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) – A larval host plant that grows in dry or sandy soils, this whorled milkweed is hardy in USDA zones 4a to 10b. Your email address will not be published. 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