Gardeners advice needed! Growing Swan plants from seeds in pod.

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  • #41813


    Hi, although I have been raising monarchs for a few years now I am not a gardenerand have no experience growing from seed. I was kindly given some seeds in pods from a very large swan plant (huge actually! More like a big bush!!!) and was wondering what’s the best way to grow these i.e. germinate them. What do I need to use, keeping costs down preferable but want best results I can. Is it still worth trying to grow them at this time? (I have a little plastic greenhouse I can keep them in)

    Also any other help you could give me with the whole growing swamplands thing because I usually buy mine as small potted plants from the nurseries
    Thanks in advance

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  • #41895


    You need to pick the seeds the day before they go everywhere on the wind so here’s a trick – use a clothes peg to keep the ones that look like they may be ready, closed. Whenever you get time (every couple of days) take the peg off, and if the pod has started to split, you know the seed is perfectly ripe.

    I have also seen people use a piece of tape – or you could go to the $2 shop or similar and get the little gauze bags and put the pods into these. Each pod has hundreds of seeds – yes, hundreds, but be worth counting, so you don’t need too many!

    Also, I squeeze the pods a little bit, and when they start to deflate (sag, give in to the touch) you know that they’re just about ready.



    OK I have just quizzed my husband for you as he’s the grower in our little operation here! He says it’s very simple – he collects the seeds once the pods have started to burst so you know they are fully mature (if you do it earlier they may not be viable). He says now is a good time to start them growing as they prefer warmth and they’ll grow to be a good size to withstand the cold of winter later and be a nice big plant for next summer. He uses standard potting mix, puts them in small pots (he plants individual seeds as that is easier for planting out later) and poke them in very shallow, he says just a half cm below the surface is enough. Keep it moist and in a sunny spot. He says that not all will germinate, but there are usually so many seeds in each pod that you’d be overrun with swan plants if all of them grew, anyway.
    Hope that helps!



    If the pods had not opened on their own check if the seeds have gone brown if not they prob will not grow

    pick them too soon and they are not viable The seed seems to dry out if kept to long , get some seed boxes eg ice cream containers use a seed raising mix or potting mix, put the containers somewhere safe and you need to keep them a bit moist . I find the seed from the plants that fall naturally take a year to germinate. If you can get your plants established before winter, they seem to survive and make a comeback when the weather warms up
    Heather –



    Bump…any gardeners out there? 🙂

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