Milkweed: "Hairy Balls"/"Family Jewels" Variety

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Made in San Bernardino, California

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Milkweeds are the host plant for the beautiful Monarch butterfly. Queen butterflies will also use this for their larva. Over recent years the Monarch population has been in severe decline. Help welcome them into your butterfly garden with the purchase of these seeds. Each seed package contains 10 seeds. If you purchase more than one package of seeds from our store, you only pay shipping once :0)

Name: "Hairy Balls" of "Family Jewels" Milkweed (Asclepias Physocarpa)

Description: 3 to 4ft tall clumps of stalks with blade-like leaves and clusters of white flowers with a purple tinge. Large, round seed pods with fine "hairs" that give it its distinctive nickname.

Type: Perennial. Evergreen in warmer climates.

Ideal Zone: 8+ but will grow as an annual below that.

Sun: Full sun to part shade. Shielding from sun in the hottest parts of the day may be required in desert climates. Tolerates a wide range of conditions once established.

Soil Conditions: Will tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions.

Water Requirement: Low, once established. Will require slightly more if planted in pots. Tolerates occasional flooding.

Growing Instructions: In Northern climates, sow seeds indoors 2 months before final frost to allow plants to reach full maturity. Warmer climates can sow directly outdoors after final frost. Plant 1-2ft apart, ¼ to ½” below the soil surface. Soaking seeds in warm water 24 hours before planting may assist germination. Can be planted directly in the ground or in pots or planters. If using a seed tray, move plants to final location when seedlings reach 2-3” tall to avoid binding roots.

Growing Notes: Under ideal conditions, these plants will produce many seeds and propagate easily. Put a rubber band around seed pods to prevent them from opening if you want the seeds for later use or pinch them off to prevent reseeding altogether. Stem cuttings will re-root in water or moist soil in warm weather. Potted plants can be taken indoors for the winter in colder climates to avoid freezing.

In the Garden: A host plant for Monarch and Queen butterflies. This species produces large plants with lots of leaves for caterpillars. They seem to like this one nearly as much as the tropical variety. Large numbers of caterpillars will strip the plants to bare stems, but the leaves grow back quickly and often with more vigor. All types of butterflies and hummingbirds will love the nectar produced by the flowers. The milky sap is an irritant, which makes the butterflies distasteful to predators. Can be prone to aphids, but this does not seem to damage the plant. In the Southwestern US these plants will not die off in fall/winter as the local native milkweeds do. Cutting back the stems in winter will encourage natural Monarch migration patterns, though this species seems to survive the winter months (at least in CA) better than most others.

Average review
Seeds arrived as expected.
Jun 22, 2017 by Barb Doherty

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