Growing new Asclepias from seed

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  • #35352


    Would anyone be interested in growing some unknown (in NZ) Asclepias from seed? I have purchased over 12 different varieties from USA so far, out of 50 available, and will buy more as I can afford them (some seeds cost $1 each). My plan is that I give an experienced seed-grower a couple of seeds of each variety I buy, to grow at the same time I am. All I ask is that you send me some seeds when the plants grow and form seed pods. (I am assuming that all Asclepias have seed pods.) Any germinating advice for this beginner would be welcomed. I have had great success growing MBTNZ’s Giant Swan Plant seeds started in Jiffy Pots, also A. Speciosa bought from USA (very slow to start) and some of MBTNZ’s pink seeds are just coming through. A. Tuberosa – not so much, dammit, although from all my googling, I understand germination can take a while so I’m still hopeful. What you do with the plants and seeds after sending me mine is totally up to you – no restrictions. If they don’t grow – well, we tried !
    Does this appeal to anyone? I hate the thought of spending megabucks and not getting a result because I don’t know what I’m doing – yet! I can list the seeds I have already bought if anyone is interested.

Viewing 16 replies - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #49247


    Thought I’d send an update on my milkweeds. I have both gomphocarpus, blue tweedia, California narrow-leaf and yellow and orange curassavica. After two years of searching for seeds, I finally have a pink tweedia growing. I plan on starting several more plants this coming year and then they will go one sale on my new seedsite RobinSeeds. We sell exclusively in the U.S.A., but I would make an exception for my friends in New Zealand. Check out the seeds at ETSY and if you wish to buy or trade I can be contacted at
    I can’t tell you how excited I am about the Tweedia solanoides, the one plant I have did give me one seed pod, about 45 seeds, yahoo! Some I will be re-gifting to Jonna Sudenius, in Denmark?, who sent me the “old” tweedia seeds.
    P.S. I overwintered both the gomphocarpus by cutting them to the ground, you might want to try it, beats starting from seed every year.
    Have a great gardening year! Dee


    Black Robin

    Hi Nola’ Black Robin here, Of the seeds that you sent me last year, I only got one variety of asclepias to strike, that was asclepias fasicularis or narrow leave milk weed.
    This developed into quite a nice, thick foliage bush. It flowered and the florets were extremely small so I thought I would try to cross pollinate with a fine paint brush as I thought that they would be too small for insect pollination. Unfortunately, no seed pods set. The bush died back over Winter but is now coming away again so maybe I will have better luck this year although, I must say, the monarchs were not very interested in this plant last year. At the moment I have some Spider Milkweeds just about to flower that is if I can keep the monarch caterpillars off them !! These plants seem to be very good value, as they have not died back and continued to grow slowly over the Winter months. Some of my other varieties that struck from seed that I got from the States last year continue to grow and I am hopeful for some seeds from these as well this year. Seeds that I have at the moment are the two Gomphocarpus, the blue tweedia, and yellow and red currasavica. I will keep in touch and hopefully share some seeds with you if I am successful If you want a small amount of seeds that I have mentioned, you are welcome.

    Black Robin



    Hi carrie not sure if you are still on here but would like to get in touch with you.


    Dane Keriboi Hawker

    Are there any of the rare seeds floating around? I would be keen to try grown some this coming season.



    I just re-found you. I would love as many Tweedia solanoides as you can share with me. I’d like to grow them for seed production. I have yellow Asclepias curassavica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus, and Tweedia caerulea that I have grown and I can get any of the seeds on the SMARTSEEDS website for you. My address is:
    Dee Moore
    439 Corralitos Road
    Arroyo Grande, California USA 93420

    I have checked the “follow-up replies” box this time, LOL.



    My best results at germination are when I place the seeds on a very damp,even wet and soaking tissue in a warm place in a glass jar.I use the airing cupboard.Within a day or two the seeds should produce a little shoot which is the root(radicle?)
    using a pair of tweezers,I then carefully take each germinating seed and sow it in a small pot.



    Hi everyone, thanks for your interest. Sorry to be so late replying but I have had a stomach bug which has meant I am either leaning over a bucket or sitting you know where! Anyway, I haven’t been on the laptop for the last few days, although I did manage to look at my emails and wondered what the heck one entitled ‘Asclepias seed’ was all about, but it was too much for my headache at the time.

    The experiment hasn’t done terribly well, I have to say. I got two participants, Caryl and Carrie, and I shared out the seeds between the 3 of us. Caryl has been great, she tried all the seeds but didn’t have very much luck which she put down to being in cold, wet Wellington without a greenhouse or even a sunny North facing windowsill. We have ended up with a real friendship and I will still be sending her seeds as and when I get them.

    Unfortunately, Carrie was sent even more seeds than Caryl as she said she had more seed raising experience, and due to personal problems she left home shortly after I sent her a big envelope stuffed full of seeds and I believe is somewhere in the bottom of the North Island. My seeds are unfortunately still at her place in Auckland. I asked her at the beginning of the year to send them back to me, but no luck there.

    That leaves me! I was having bonza luck – got every pink Oxypetalum solenoides raised and they are presently out in the Pink Garden still alive even through the worst winter Northland has known. But I still can’t get the blue ones to germinate, nor could I get the purple Asclepias to germinate, which is probably due to the fact that they need the cold period in the fridge, although they did get that. I have a couple out in the garden so I have my fingers crossed for spring germination of those, it has certainly been cold enough here.

    First off, to Black Robin who emailed me. I will be emailing you shortly now that I am sort of back on deck. I will send you some of ‘my’ seeds still remaining since you are a keen seed raiser and I am a total beginner. I just wish I could get Carrie’s seeds back, what a waste of money.

    To Dee, I am happy to send you some pink Oxypetalum seeds, they seem fairly easy to get here. Will you email me please, with an address and any varieties of Asclepias you can swap, although I am still happy to send you some pink seeds anyway.



    Growing Asclepisa from seed.
    At this time of the season and if you do not know how fresh the seed is you will have more success if you soak the seed in water for 2 to 3 days it will break the dormancy of the seeds good luck Tramp.


    Black Robin

    Hi Nola
    One of my other hobbies apart from Butterflies is native plant and tree growing from seed. I have at the moment some asclepias “Gold Silk” seed down. Seem to be taking along time to strike. They are from a plant that I got last year from Bunnings along with a blood flower plant. If you have any seeds left, I would like to participate in the experiment. I have a small glasshouse and live in Tauranga. I will send you a email for reply or you can reply through forum. Regards, Black Robin.



    I’m so glad that Dee has revived this thread. I would love to know how you all got on.



    Hello Nola,
    I live in the U.S.A. and have a butterfly and nectar garden for Monarchs.
    I have been growing Tweedia caerulea successfully and would really love to try the pink variety Oxypetalum solanoides. I can’t find anyplace to get the seeds. Do you have access to these seeds in New Zealand? Would you be willing to trade me some for? If you are interested I can dig out my milkweed seeds and see what varieties I have.
    Thanks, Dee



    Hi Carrie, Can you send me an email to nola @ ubernet dot co dot nz please? Then I can send you info on what seeds I will send you, etc. I look forward to ‘hearing’ from you soon. Thanks for replying.



    Hi Nola, I am a very keen seed grower and would love to help you if you have any of your seeds left. I am doing my best to create a butterfly garden which will attract bees and butterflies.

    My name is Carrie and address is Carrie McLaren, 31 Chequers Avenue, Glenfield, North Shore City, Auckland 0629.



    Hi Caryl, Thank you so much for your answer. I am still waiting for some seeds to arrive from America but will make up a selection of what I have already got over the weekend and get the first lot off to you, with the next lot in about a fortnight. I started all the Giant Swan Plant seeds in Jiffy Pots then put the seedling-and-Jiffy-Pot into good potting mix when they were at least an inch high. All the other seeds except MBTNZ’s free pink seeds are also in Jiffy Pots. I did have them all in a seedhouse with PVC cover facing East (morning sun only), but I don’t think they got enough sun as nothing started other than the Giant ones. Now they are sitting in a window facing the North so they get sun most of the day if it is around, which is probably why they are starting to poke through now, well some of them. I have got 2 greenhouses, but rats/mice/possums are getting into them and eating all the new growth, and I have just lost 12 seedlings that were eaten over the last two days. The free pink seeds are in seedling mix with a light covering over them and a plastic bag wrapped around their container and they are on a North facing windowsill to catch whatever sun is going, which isn’t much yet. I have also just got 2000+ seeds of a Giant Swan Plant that I plan on throwing around each of our three orchards when it gets warmer. Do you want any of those? I can spare a few, lol. My email address is nola at ubernet dot co dot nz, if you could let me know your email address I will let you know what I am sending you and when.



    I’d love to help. I am in Wellington. Do you germinate your seeds in a glasshouse, inside or ??? Caryl
    My address is 112 Inglis St, Seatoun, Wellington 6022



    A PS to the above, if more than one was interested in helping me, that would be fine, there are only 4 varieties that have 5 seeds and I could just send one each to 2/3 people of those. Some of the varieties I have got are: A tuberosa (orange flowers), A solanoana Serpentine, A incarnata Soulmate, A incarnata Pulchra, A hirtella tall green milkweed, A halii Halls Milkweed, A cryptaceras Davis milkweed, A cordifolia Heartleaf milkweed, A pururascens Purple milkweed, A. asperula Antelope Horns, A eriocarpa Indian milkweed, A Sullivanti – Prairie milkweed, A Syriaca – common milkweed, A Viridis – Spider Milkweed, A. Verticillara WHITE WORLED MILKWEED, WILD ORANGE BUTTERFLY WEED ASCLEPIAS, Asclepias incarnata (Carmine flowers), TWEEDIA SOLANOIDES – Oxypetalum solanoides
    pink flowered milkweed.

Viewing 16 replies - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

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