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Sprouting Milkweed

Asclepias tuberosa sprout

Milkweeds are the backbone of any butterfly garden. A host plant for the Monarch caterpillar, they also provide late summer nectar for adult butterflies of all species.

I'm surprised at how unpopular milkweeds are in Brooklyn yards. My mother and grandmother have grown Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) for decades and their drought-tolerant, bright orange flowers really stand out in late July. Zuzu's petals carries two varieties of milkweed seed in stock. I was able to force some A. tuberosa to sprout quickly earlier this month.

I'll have to wait longer for my Swamp Milkweed (A. incarnata), a taller, pink-to-white species, which requires some cold stratification to sprout.

All of the seedlings will probably need to be overwintered in my apartment. It's going to be crowded in here!