Milkweeds — Poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) Seeds
This little-known milkweed is the first to bloom of our local species, usually in mid-June. The dainty white or pale green flowers dangle from the stem. When planted as a clump of seedlings in part shade, it makes a handsome addition to a native garden and serves as a host plant for the monarch butterfly. Stays as a clump, does not expand from the roots.
Native to Maine: Yes
Growing conditions: Sun to part shade in medium soil
Grows up to: 4'
Blooms: In early summer
Natural habitat: Deciduous woodland edges and roadsides
Seeds per packet: 20
Germination Code(s): B
"B" seeds need a winter or cold period to germinate. Sow these seeds outdoors in pots from November through February. A great species for beginner seed-sowers.
Each seed package carries a specific germination code along with the plant description. These codes indicate specific sowing instructions.
- A Seeds can be sown outdoors in fall or early spring.
- B Seeds need a winter or cold period to germinate. Sow outdoors in fall or winter.
- C Seeds need light to germinate; sow on soil surface and leave uncovered.
- D Seeds need alternating cycles of warm-to-cold-to-warm to germinate. They can be sown either outdoors in spring or summer and will germinate the following year or in a flat in a warm place for 3 months, then moved to a refrigerator for 2 months, then moved outside in the early summer warmth.
- E Seeds can not be allowed to dry out. Sow immediately.
- F Seeds take two years to germinate. Sow outside in the fall or winter and look for germination in the second spring. A shady location prevents the flats from rapid drying and reduces weeding
- G Large seeds should be soaked overnight in water.
- FERN: Sow spores in a warm bright location in a sealed container and keep moist. Directions enclosed with package. Challenging.
If you have specific questions about seeds and germination guidelines please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All seeds can be sown and placed outdoors in fall or winter bypassing the need for an artificial indoor cold stratification (refrigerator) required for some species when planted in spring. This is the simplest method. See How to Grow Natives From Seed for detailed instructions.