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How Do You Get the Seeds Out of Your Milkweed?

Allegheny Tom

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
4,984
Location
Western Pennsylvania
I kinda suspected that they might need stratified. Seems to me that I also read somewhere that maintaining a certain moisture content of the seed is important.
I've done neither.
I pick them when I feel they are almost ready to split which might be another reason why my germ rate was zero...IDK

And gadwall are one of the most beautiful of the puddle ducks. Post a pic when you get it back from the taxidermist.
 

Nutterbuster

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
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Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
8,316
Location
Where the skys are so blue!
I kinda suspected that they might need stratified. Seems to me that I also read somewhere that maintaining a certain moisture content of the seed is important.
I've done neither.
I pick them when I feel they are almost ready to split which might be another reason why my germ rate was zero...IDK

And gadwall are one of the most beautiful of the puddle ducks. Post a pic when you get it back from the taxidermist.
Yep. If I remember right folks were saying to fold them in a wet paper towel that you wrung all the water out of. Or sit them in a tupperware container on top of the same.

The cold thing explains why they don't grow here. Now that I think about it, the plant I saw was the year after we had a little dusting of snow. Maybe that helped it?

DCNR, ever helpful as they are, bulldozed the thing grading the dirt road it was growing next to. I've searched the area for another but no luck
 

bloodsoakedberber

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SH Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
582
Location
Wheeling, West Virginia
Yep. If I remember right folks were saying to fold them in a wet paper towel that you wrung all the water out of. Or sit them in a tupperware container on top of the same.

The cold thing explains why they don't grow here. Now that I think about it, the plant I saw was the year after we had a little dusting of snow. Maybe that helped it?

DCNR, ever helpful as they are, bulldozed the thing grading the dirt road it was growing next to. I've searched the area for another but no luck
Wet paper towel in a ziplock bag taped to my window got a couple out of a lot to germinate. Planted them but didn't grow. Pretty pathetic results on my part considering how abundant it seems to be lol
 

elk yinzer

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Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
1,830
Location
State College, PA
Can confirm they need to be stratified and they take at least two years to flower and produce pods. Mine took three, but I'm not sure the first batch of plants over-wintered successfully. As I planted seeds that fall also and carved out more space for them from the goldenrod next to it.

This has been a five year experiment for me and I had my first flowers and pods this year. Year 1 and year 2 I didn't stratify and were total busts. Year 3 I had ~3 baby plants. I didn't intentionally stratify or even know of the term at that point, I just happened to scatter seeds in the fall instead of spring. Last year I had several large plants, but no flowers. This year my patch went bananas, I had several 6' tall plants and got probably 20 or 30 pods at one point. This is just a small flower bed maybe 5 x 5.

I had to cut most of it down in August before the pods matured because it's right next to my mailbox and there were so many yellowjackets the mailman said I need to get rid of it or no mail. I was able to reserve a few plants farther away from the mailbox. There were no flowers at this point, the wasps appeared to be feeding on the milk.

Also milkweed beetles, something I'd never seen. I generally hate bugs especially in quantity, these things freaked me the F out. They were there from tiny little bugs in the spring, regathered after I cut it down, and are still there on the remaining plants. All year they lived in this orgy-mass thing, never separating.

Capture.JPG

Had about 5 of these dudes this year but I think the birds got them? They were just there one day, then whoosh, all gone. Look for chrysalles but couldn't see any. Kids loved our little pets while they were there though.

Capture.JPG

Come to think of it I'm not sure stratifying in a fridge alone would work because I keep all my pods in the garage so year 1 and 2 would have been exposed to very cold temps out there before being planted in the spring. I don't really know my horticulture lingo and proceses though, I don't have a green thumb.

I've enjoyed figuring it out though and hunting uses for the pods aside it's a beautful and fascinating plant. It is incredible how much insect life is drawn to it.
 
Last edited:

Allegheny Tom

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
4,984
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Can confirm they need to be stratified and they take at least two years to flower and produce pods. Mine took three, but I'm not sure the first batch of plants over-wintered successfully. As I planted seeds that fall also and carved out more space for them from the goldenrod next to it.

This has been a five year experiment for me and I had my first flowers and pods this year. Year 1 and year 2 I didn't stratify and were total busts. Year 3 I had ~3 baby plants. I didn't intentionally stratify or even know of the term at that point, I just happened to scatter seeds in the fall instead of spring. Last year I had several large plants, but no flowers. This year my patch went bananas, I had several 6' tall plants and got probably 20 or 30 pods at one point. This is just a small flower bed maybe 5 x 5.

I had to cut most of it down in August before the pods matured because it's right next to my mailbox and there were so many yellowjackets the mailman said I need to get rid of it or no mail. I was able to reserve a few plants farther away from the mailbox. There were no flowers at this point, the wasps appeared to be feeding on the milk.

Also milkweed beetles, something I'd never seen. I generally hate bugs especially in quantity, these things freaked me the F out. They were there from tiny little bugs in the spring, regathered after I cut it down, and are still there on the remaining plants. All year they lived in this orgy-mass thing, never separating.

View attachment 54834

Had about 5 of these dudes this year but I think the birds got them? They were just there one day, then whoosh, all gone. Look for chrysalles but couldn't see any. Kids loves out little pets while they were there though.

View attachment 54837

Come to think of it I'm not sure stratifying in a fridge alone would work because I keep all my pods in the garage so year 1 and 2 would have been exposed to very cold temps out there before being planted in the spring. I don't really know my horticulture lingo and proceses though, I don't have a green thumb.

I've enjoyed figuring it out though and hunting uses for the pods aside it's a beautful and fascinating plant. It is incredible how much insect life is drawn to it.
I've seen thousands of those insects on pods. I think I remember reading somewhere that the bug is native but the also is a non native variety. I never want to ship or transport insects of any kind. I treat my pods with permethrin.
 

sconnieman

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
151
I just pull out clumps and take ‘‘em out by hand. Most fall off easily.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Micneador

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2020
Messages
191
Location
Sapulpa, Ok
Can confirm they need to be stratified and they take at least two years to flower and produce pods. Mine took three, but I'm not sure the first batch of plants over-wintered successfully. As I planted seeds that fall also and carved out more space for them from the goldenrod next to it.

This has been a five year experiment for me and I had my first flowers and pods this year. Year 1 and year 2 I didn't stratify and were total busts. Year 3 I had ~3 baby plants. I didn't intentionally stratify or even know of the term at that point, I just happened to scatter seeds in the fall instead of spring. Last year I had several large plants, but no flowers. This year my patch went bananas, I had several 6' tall plants and got probably 20 or 30 pods at one point. This is just a small flower bed maybe 5 x 5.

I had to cut most of it down in August before the pods matured because it's right next to my mailbox and there were so many yellowjackets the mailman said I need to get rid of it or no mail. I was able to reserve a few plants farther away from the mailbox. There were no flowers at this point, the wasps appeared to be feeding on the milk.

Also milkweed beetles, something I'd never seen. I generally hate bugs especially in quantity, these things freaked me the F out. They were there from tiny little bugs in the spring, regathered after I cut it down, and are still there on the remaining plants. All year they lived in this orgy-mass thing, never separating.

View attachment 54834

Had about 5 of these dudes this year but I think the birds got them? They were just there one day, then whoosh, all gone. Look for chrysalles but couldn't see any. Kids loved our little pets while they were there though.

View attachment 54837

Come to think of it I'm not sure stratifying in a fridge alone would work because I keep all my pods in the garage so year 1 and 2 would have been exposed to very cold temps out there before being planted in the spring. I don't really know my horticulture lingo and proceses though, I don't have a green thumb.

I've enjoyed figuring it out though and hunting uses for the pods aside it's a beautful and fascinating plant. It is incredible how much insect life is drawn to it.

Thanks for the tips, I had read of the stratifying techniques in the fridge but may opt for natural stratification after what you have found. I plan on scattering a few seeds in my mothers flower bed just to see if they will grow in it, if not no big deal. Not sure where else I should scatter the rest of the seeds though.
 
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