If you’re interested in using native plants for your butterfly garden, Scott Woodbury shares his years of experience in this video.
June 3, 2020 – 4 pm Central Time
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While it’s common for people to buy a seed mix and just throw it on the soil, there are actually many factors to consider to get the best results.
Below are a couple of videos which talk about soil prep and seed mixes necessary to have good results.
Here are a couple of other good videos from this website.
If you start your own plants inside from seeds, they will be pretty wimpy compared to seeds that started their life outside.
Here’s what my milkweed looks like without hardening off.
Here’s the hardening off schedule I am going to try.
- May 4 – Leave in shade all day
- Put out in sunshine for 1 hour
- Put in sunshine for 2 hours
- Put in sunshine for 3 hours.
- Sunshine for 4 hours Had to bring plants inside because of possible night frost.
- Sunshine 5 hours
- May 11 – Put on back patio – faces east – gets about 6 hours of sun per day
- May 12 – still on back patio – gets sun from 7 am to 1 pm. Milkweed shows minimal damage.
Since I collect seeds every year, the question is always from which plants should I collect the seeds. In some cases, it’s obvious, but in other cases you might need some help.
What I do is mark the plants which have grown exceptionally well or bloomed well or attracted a lot of bees and butterflies.
I do two things to mark those plants.
- I mark the plants with gold sprayed steel plates.
- If the plant is large, I use gold string to tie up the plant.
Now when I go around to collect seeds, I know for sure which plants to use.
Approximately 50 echinacea seedlings from seed I collected and planted on March 1st. The moral is, don’t throw away your old echinacea seeds as you cleanup the garden in early spring. The voles frequently decimate my echinacea roots, so I constantly need to renew them.
One of the easiest ways to double your tropical milkweed plants is to take cuttings from the new seedling plants and put them into water. I’ve found that aluminum cans works well. In around two weeks your cuttings will have roots which you can plant into new containers.
Below is what my old plants look like after I cut them down and let them grow back for two weeks.