Winter weather provides a natural cold stratification process. The Monarch butterfly caterpillars rely on milkweed exclusively for food. You will need milkweed seeds (of course! These require a cold spell before germinating in zones 9+. Getting Started!

Release Monarch Butterflies

  • Question: I’ve brought several milkweed pods from NH to Long Island NY. They seem very try and brittle now. If you live near overwintering sites, consider planting early spring, late-fall, and winter-blooming nectar plants instead of . Even when they are 3” tall, they are likely to go through a shock. Have never been so paranoid a planting a seed before! Seeing the little sprout, I get anxious- have I waited too long to plant my milkweed seeds? Oh I’m gonna get them now!


  • I enjoy this so much. Do not use a moisture-control variety, because excess moisture could lower germination rates for some milkweed species. These are the ones the Monarchs in your area will like best. Under these conditions, tropical milkweed produces higher cardenolide concentrations. Native milkweed seed is expensive–as it should be. Clear plastic storage bins with snap on lids (The lids don’t have to be clear), 7. loading="lazy" itemprop="image" srcset=" 288w, 700w" sizes="(max-width: 288px) 100vw, 288px" />

    25 Milkweed Plant Ideas for North American Butterfly Gardens