Will It Grow? Milkweed Pods

I spotted these seed pods on my variegated milkweed, Asclepias curassavica Monarch’s Promise aka Butterfly Kisses, in late November. This is the first year I’ve seen seed pods on my milkweed and I was highly anticipating seeds from this variety.

My previous attempts to propagate this milkweed from cuttings have ended in failure, and I just want to avoid buying replacement plants next year. The fact that this specific plant is a survivor from a May 2019 purchase makes me want to preserve it even more.

I placed small ziplock snack bags over the pods in hopes of capturing seeds when the pods ripened and burst open.

Alas, it took only one frigid night in December to damage the top growth of the plant and render my collection efforts futile.

Chilled to the bone

Needless to say, I was disappointed to find a pod branch had simply dropped off the plant. I expected the rest of the pods would follow, so I removed them all.

Will they grow? One of the pods was already molding in the bag…

I don’t know if I can collect seeds from these green pods if I let them mature and dry out like some fruits. Google search hasn’t yielded answers on this subject. So I’ll just sit them out on a counter and see what comes of it.

Milkweed ID needed

I need help figuring out what milkweed is growing in my beds. I started milkweed in 2018 which found its way into the backyard. I also bought and transplanted other specimens as well.

The only ID I’m certain of is the variegated butterfly weed which overwintered in the garage. The Home Depot version lists as Butterfly Kisses, but it didn’t stop me from picking up another variegated milkweed from North Haven Gardens, Monarch’s Promise. Maybe they’re one and the same.

Previous year potted milkweed
2020 New planting of Monarch’s Promise

Anyway, the following milkweed springing up from my beds are defying attempts to identify them properly.

True to the Rogue bed’s name, milkweed #2 appears to have reseeded rogue, with over a half dozen volunteer starts. The young leaves start out green which mature to the gray-green color seen in the pics.

Then there is the one potted milkweed that I can’t recall what it is. But I’m glad it emerged, suggesting that garage overwintering suits these plants. Now if I can only remember what it is. Hint: I bought 3 packets of Botanical Interests milkweed seed — Common (A. syriaca), Showy (A. speciosa) and Irresistible Blend (A. incarnata). If I remember right, one of the 3 proved difficult to germinate and didn’t take to water sowing at all.

Mystery Milkweed #3 in a pot

End of summer garden inspection

We neglected the front yard beds over the height of summer (June-August) and emerged over the Labor Day weekend to perform some maintenance. I spent a couple of weekends in September cleaning up the beds, trimming back some shrubs, and uprooting the casualties. Some plants obviously did not take too well the stretch of 100+ temperatures in August, most noticeably the young azaleas and our Waterfall Japanese Maple. At first we thought the drip line system to blame, but when we had a contractor come out to inspect our sprinkler system, he recommended that the drip system be run a minimum of 20 minutes–much more than the 5 minute run we had originally programmed. Safe to say that the plants are much happier going into Fall.

The cleanup obviously opened up some gaps in the garden beds to introduce new plantings as well.

Now if I can only muster up the energy to get some spring-flowering bulbs into the ground!

Hummer ready

Was rewarded by a visit from a hummingbird earlier this week, who honed in on the Bright Eyes salvia in the front garden bed. So pleased to know that the wildlife hasn’t been deterred from visiting the loud and noisy construction in my neighborhood. I snapped some pics of bee-, bird-, and butterfly -friendly bloomers.

20160419_SummerJewelRedSalvia 20160419_VariegatedButterflyWeed 20160421_SugarMoonRose 20160419_HotLipsSalvia