Hi! It’s been a while!
This is my second year raising monarch butterflies. Mid summer last year I was desperate for milkweed, as it is the sole host plant for the monarch butterfly caterpillar, and they are voracious!
Since then, I’ve been planting several different types of milkweed all over our property, along with nectar plants, so that hopefully I don’t run out again.
Milkweed is slow to grow from seed. Because of this, we were buying milkweed plants (not sprayed with insecticide) like crazy to have enough food for these babies. That put a dent in our budget!
Another method I began to use is propagation by stem. This method works for many perennials. You take a stem with areas for roots to come out, plunge it in the dirt or a container, and a new plant grows from that live material.
For milkweed, this is a relatively fast way to increase your supply. The following stems were used to create new plants:
These particular tropical milkweed stems were excellent candidates for quick regrowth due to several sections in each stem.
On July 12, 2015 I planted the following stems in a container:
I trimmed the bottom of each stem right below the bottom notch and planted two notches deep, allowing for healthy root establishment.
This photo was taken 4 days later. Notice the new growth:
Today, 2 weeks later, look!
It is even starting to bloom just 19 days from a plain stem.
So, don’t toss your milkweed stems! Not all stems will regrow due to various reasons, but it is certainly worth the effort to try..
Until next time, Peace, Love, and veggies (and butterflies),