Common Milkweed Cuttings


Asclepias syriaca or Common Milkweed is a great plant to grow for Monarchs. While I don’t recommend it for most gardens since it is so invasive, I’m going to try and grow it this year in a large pot to keep it contained.

The problem is that no one in the St. Louis, MO area carries the plant. Even my main source for native plants, Missouri Wildflowers, had a crop failure this year and has no plants. I’m trying a second way to get some plants and that’s by cuttings.

I’ve got a friend with milkweed in her front yard, Yvonne, and she allowed me to come over and take some cuttings. I’ve got ten cuttings in plastic bags using rooting hormone and two cuttings I just stuck in a pot outside which is in some water to keep it well hydrated.

I’ll report later on the success/failure of both techniques.


REPORT – ZERO success!
I was both disappointed and surprised that none of my milkweed cuttings rooted.


Filed under Milkweed

12 responses to “Common Milkweed Cuttings

  1. I have some common milkweed seeds that a friend sent me last fall. I planted a few and they did not germinate. Have you ever planted common milkweed from seed? If so how did you go about it?

  2. I usually clean out a place in my garden in the fall and plant my seeds that need cold stratification. I like this technique since it requires no work on my part later in the year. Another way I have used is to put the seeds in a pot outside, but then I need to water and I also cover it with a net to keep out the birds. It’s interesting that a main commercial business had a complete failure with their common milkweed seed this year – not sure why, but you’re not alone.

  3. Well, I still have a few seeds. I will see if I can get those to germinate. I will try both ways, in the ground and in a pot. In the meantime I will watch for them along the roads I guess. I’m in the city so I don’t see their “habitat” too often.
    The tropical seeds you sent me germinated just fine!

  4. Common Milkweed seeds MUST be cold-moist stratified or the germination rate will be very low, if not zero. Here is a link that you can go to on “YouTube” that shows how you prepare the seeds for cold-moist stratification. Do this and I GUARANTEE you will get GREAT germination rates. You do this for Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias Incarnata) and Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa).

  5. Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca) CANNOT be started via cuttings. They DO spread rapidly via underground rhizomes so if you want to propagate them, you need to wait until the plant is dormant (in the Fall after the stalks have dried up) or in early Spring before the plants start to send up new shoots. Common Milkweed is a perennial but is very invasive due to the underground rhizomes. If you want to propagate more, I would leave the stalk (cut it down but leave enough sticking up so you know where they are) and then gently dig down a little ways from the main plant until you encounter the rhizome and cut a section that has some buds on it. Do NOT try to transplant Common Milkweed as it will kill the plant. They have a deep taproot. Hope this helps.

  6. Swamp and Tropical milkweed CAN be started via cuttings as well as division.

  7. Thanks! I will watch that video and try again.

  8. kenny

    Put them in a wet paper towel, in a plastic bag, and they will grow.

  9. kenny

    What about green antelope horn from cuttings?

  10. I tried the seeds this year and they sprouted well after a couple of months in the refrigerator. I don’t know about cuttings.

  11. kenny

    I put them in a wet paper towel, in a sandwich bag. I am trying some cuttings now.

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