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

Seeds and Plants purchases

Earlier in April, I mentioned starting some seeds from a purchase I made from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I also visited Painted Flower Farm and North Haven Gardens to pick out some plants for the shade bed. Since then I’ve made additional purchases in attempt to satisfy my plant addiction.

Hostas are the last major addition I’m looking forward to dropping in the shade bed. I chased down a Facebook group that lists a variety of hosta sources. Island Breeze, Hans and Dancing Darling are enroute to me, courtesy of Tims Hosta Farm.

My lemon balm seed starting efforts have been frustrating. It’s the only seed that haven’t germinated. Either this is harder than I thought or the lemon balm seed I have today are probably too old. So I found Hayefield’s shop on Etsy and purchased some All Gold lemon balm, along with Golden Jubilee Agastache and Variegated Prunella.

I am highly nervous that the pineapple sages that I planted in 2018 aren’t going to return, so I’m trying to source either plants or seed. Luckily one of my fave online plant catalogs, Colonial Creek Farm, has them sale. I picked up two Golden Delicious pineapple sages, along with white anouk lavender, curly mint and pineapple mint.

Last are the impulse buys from big box stores and the local Calloway’s: herbs, pepper plants and tomatoes.