Armchair botanizing for Extreme Milkweeds (Asclepias)

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) started easily from seed for me.  The little sausage of a root they produce in just a couple months is fascinating.  With all that stored energy, I don't know why they are so finicky about transplanting, but they certainly are.

The seedling on the right is Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens), with its long, horseradish-like root.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

RickR wrote:

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) started easily from seed for me.  The little sausage of a root they produce in just a couple months is fascinating.   With all that stored energy, I don't know why they are so finicky about transplanting, but they certainly are.

Rick,
Are they fincky if you plant a potfull without disturbing the roots at all? Do other milkweeds behave in the same way?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Allison
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

I have some (A. tuberosa) growing in pure sand and they are doing well. They are native here but only found in sandy areas. The roots are very brittle and very susceptible to rot which is probably why they are hard to transplant. Give the pure sand (at least 10" of it) a try. I'd be interested to hear if it does the trick.

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Lis wrote:

I have some (A. tuberosa) growing in pure sand and they are doing well. They are native here but only found in sandy areas. The roots are very brittle and very susceptible to rot which is probably why they are hard to transplant. Give the pure sand (at least 10" of it) a try. I'd be interested to hear if it does the trick.

Regarding Butterfly weed, Trond, transplanting with a large soil ball intact would be a logical assumption, but I have no experience.  If you plant in sand, I might expect the sand to fall away from the roots anyway.  Maybe it would be better to seed in a a pot that will decompose so, the whole thing can be transplanted, or seed in a pot where you can remove or cut the bottom off when it's time to transplant.

Asclepias tuberosa is native here in the Midwest (USA) also.  They do mostly grow in sandy prairie habitat, but I have noticed them in dry clay based soil, too.  I think my climate is drier than Lis's and may account for the difference.  Or, I wonder if sand is just were they compete best, rather than a need.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

When I get the chance I'll try some of these "Extreme Milkweeds"! No problem getting sand  ;D clay is difficult to find here.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Trond, if only we were close enough to do a swap..... no sand here at all, nor gravel (there are random deposits in the area, but all on private land, and not ours!)... I'll have to buy some :(

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

cohan wrote:

Trond, if only we were close enough to do a swap..... no sand here at all, nor gravel (there are random deposits in the area, but all on private land, and not ours!)... I'll have to buy some :(

Should be cheaper to buy than mail some ;D

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Hoy wrote:

cohan wrote:

Trond, if only we were close enough to do a swap..... no sand here at all, nor gravel (there are random deposits in the area, but all on private land, and not ours!)... I'll have to buy some :(

Should be cheaper to buy than mail some ;D

Lol--Yes, not sure about your mail rates, and I have not yet checked truckload prices for gravel, but I suspect it would not be a very large package of soil/sand here that would cost as much to mail as a truckload locally...lol--
my problem is they will probably have to drive at least 60km round trip, and I am going to have to pay for that time/mileage...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Those are exotic beauties, Mark.  I've never found the more moisture-loving native species to do very well for me, so perhaps these more dryland species might be worth a try.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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