Growing Milkweeds from Seed for the Lower Deserts
Milkweeds in the lower desert are easy to grow and do not require cold-stratification
for germination. Desert or Rush Milkweed (A. subulata), Pineleaf Milkweed (A. linaria)
and Arizona Milkweed (A. angustifolia) are evergreens in the lower elevations and
thrive in warm temperatures. In particular A. subulata grows best when planted when
temperatures are high and can even be started during our summer monsoon season while
A. linaria and A. angustifolia are best grown in early spring or fall.
Seeds benefit from a deep soaking in tap water for 24 to 48 hours before planting
to simulate abundant rains in the desert to soften their seed coat.
We now have a short video about starting low desert
milkweeds from seeds. Questions? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing Milkweeds from Seed for the Higher Elevations (over 2,500 feet)
Unlike lower desert seeds (A. subulata, A. linaria, and A. angustifolia) that can be planted without any pretreatment,
those that grow at higher elevation (A. speciosa, A. latifolia, A. tuberosa, A. asperula, A. subverticillata, etc.)
need cold stratification for germination. In nature milkweeds set seeds in the fall and disperse. When seeds land on bare
soil and are subject to winter snow, rain and cold temperatures they may emerge and grow the following spring. In the
southwest moisture is sporadic and milkweed seeds germinate in response to moist conditions that soften the seed coat and support new growth.