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balloon milkweed florida


Hi Sunila, while it does make an interesting showpiece in the garden, or cut for a vase, our main use for it is to attract monarch butterflies to lay their eggs on it. Just remove and discard those leaves and adjust your watering habits to see if that makes a difference. Hi Fran, these seeds don’t need cold stratification so I would start indoors late winter or early spring. Hi Brian, they aren’t going to develop further if they have been removed from the stem. I live in South East Michigan. When you notice a seam starting to open on the pod the seeds are ready to remove. Everyone is curious about this interesting plant and have asked for seeds, which I will gladly share as it is a wonderful way to increase awareness of the. Any suggestions where I might be able to find them stateside? You are right. The seeds were planted indoors and sprouted very quickly. It is not rare or threatened but the seeds are difficult to come by since they are seldom collected from their host plants. If some of the pods are “close” to developing right before your first frost, take a long cutting and put it in a vase. My big question is, will the physocarpa do OK here? I have a tall plant …had the flowers and still have a few but…don’t see any pods coming…. Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review. I am in Florida, so they have been outside most of the time, aside from a couple when I brought all my plants in in to let the potted tropical mw grow back and to keep butterflies from laying eggs on and eating my seedlings. This is a tropical variety and my seeds are old, so should I expect 0% germination and order another packet of seeds real quick? Please forgive me for not responding before now…I somehow must have overlooked the notification in my emails! Noted for its curious balloon-like seed pods, Gomphocarpus physocarpus (Balloon Plant) is an upright perennial producing slender stems clad with lance-shaped, pale lime-green leaves. Here are some ideas that can yield instant results: How to stop Aphids from taking over Milkweed, Hi, I live in Los Angeles and my neighbors milkweed, hairy balls, are starting to seed. Good luck! They probably won’t mature this season but you can overwinter them indoors and start with some plants next season. I’ve planted balloons in a pot and hope they will do well, growing through the Utah winter. Or would I have to bring it in to overwinter? I bet coffee filters are good too ’cause the roots probably can’t grow into them. I’m sure if you try rooting some in late summer you’ll have better results. I have 2 balloon trees that had tons of balloons. I didn’t buy it again this year as it is not available locally. You could overwinter the plant indoors though: How well do G Physocarpus do in the garden in our short but very-long-day Minnesota summers? Nice fine DeeDee! Hi Jessica, if you want bushier growth, I would pinch back the top leaves, I just found the packet of G. physocarpus seeds that I bought a year ago and I planted them. Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa, is one of the most available and popular native species of milkweed. This past year I planted two species of Gomphocarpus in my garden in northern California (Zone 9): Gomphocarpus physocarpus and G. cancellatus. Thanks for the tip on pruning late spring for a bushier plant as I did have to tie it up a couple of times! Even though I flooded my eye with water for multiple times, several minutes each time, I still had to go to a Emergency Clinic, which put me thru another serious eye rinse process… they gave me some kind of pain killing eye drops when I first got there, which eased the burning & tricked me into believing that I was thru the worst of it, but, within a few hours, the horrific burning came back, & my eyes had become so sensitive to light that I sat in a dark room with dark sunglasses on & even the dimmest of lights felt like a dagger in my eye! I have a six foot Oscar that I grew from seed started indoors, zone 7 (WV). SE PA USA. Please read comments below for more info about growing Gomphocarpus physocarpus in your garden: Valentine Gift Ideas for a Butterfly Lover, Start or Improve your Monarch Butterfly Garden, Butterfly Garden Book for Monarchs- Instant Download, Top Tools, Supplies, and Resources for Raising Monarch Butterflies, 25 Milkweed Plant Ideas for North American Butterfly Gardens,, Monarch Butterfly Kits to Raise Caterpillars into Butterflies, Winter Sowing Milkweed Seeds Part 1: Supply Checklist, Perennial for USDA hardiness zone 8 and above (lows -12.2 °C or 10 °F), Not the same plant as its bushier brother, Sow seeds directly after final frost (not recommended below zone USDA zone 8). My advice though, is to try BOTH methods and see if one outperforms the other. Most people are used to seeing the bright orange flowers of the, non-native, scarlet milkweed ( Asclepias curassavica) and don’t realize that Florida is home to twenty one native milkweeds. I live in Michigan and purchased several stems of this plant at a local market. Asclepias physocarpa (Gomphocarpus physocarpus) milkweed has several common names like Swan plant, Balloon plant Milkweed, Oscar milkweed, and Family Jewels. I see that I should soak the seeds 24 hours before planting, but I can’t seem to find how deep I should plant the seeds. I have had about a half dozen clippings, & I have only managed to get 1 more to root. The Virginia Native Plant Society weighs in on a recent NYTimes article on the problem of tropical milkweed and non-native milkweeds like Gomphocarpus physocarpa: Soak seeds in water 24 hours before planting, Can sustain lots of munching monarch caterpillars late season, Long stems with pods make amazing table centerpiece, Last viable milkweed species before fall takes over, Colder hardiness zones must start seeds indoors for hopes of a seed harvest, or, Flowers aren’t super showy, but still pretty, Fewer pollinators use this than native milkweeds, Start seeds indoors 1-2 months before avg last frost, Seeds germinate in less than one week with heat and moisture, Grow this as a back border so it doesn’t shade your other butterfly plants, Staking may be required if not cut back in perennial zones, Don’t force open seed pods…they will start to open when they are ready. Hi Sherri, don’t worry about physocarpa popping. I live in Maryland in Zone 7. I will start checking them in a day or two so I can remove the saran wrap. Hi Steve, you can try mulching and see if it comes back, but it’s a risk. Ohio, Marilyn. Help!…please. If pesticides weren’t used, you could always try raising a few indoors on stem cuttings after thoroughly rinsing the milkweed…good luck! I love them!! Today it popped open emitting the seeds. I’d forgotten all about the hairy ball plant. good luck! They are also turning that reddish color like in the picture at the top of the page, and some of them are starting to feel “papery”. Thank you for writing about this plant. The Great Black Wasps have probably been there too, but I’ve only seen those on the tropical milkweed. Where to find the milkweed and how to grow the milkweed plants. If the plants were treated with pesticides, I would suggest cutting them back so that healthy new grow can emerge. Thx! what a nice surprise…good luck with your seeds Laurie! I just bought this milkweed started from a cutting based on the description that it is one of the “most popular” with Monarchs. I tried to open one and found a green pod inside. If you don’t find the eggs right away, a hungry predator will. I had a miserable night & was taken to an eye specialist in the morning, that determined I had torn a hole in my cornea! I’ll have to bring the plant inside when the weather turns cold, but I’m hoping that the seedpods will continue developing under lights. Any advice is much appreciated. Have pics for proof. They produce balloon like seed pods that are covered in soft bristles that reach about 2 inches in diameter. Do I cut it down completely and mulch heavily? The most frequent visitor I’ve noticed up north is the blue mud dauber (black wasp). Hummingbirds have been pollinating my Gomphocarpus physocarpus. Only thing is, I don’t know how to properly cut them back. Do those need cold stratification too? I hope all is well in NZ! Fast growers. I too live in Houston. Our native species are all around us in our natural areas, but … How long will it take for the pods to be ripe? Hi Bob, they grow well here but it’s best to get an early start so they have time to seed. I live in the sunnier south east, will they be ok overwinter?? We have gotten a majority of our eggs on common this year too. I’ll try trimming it and see what comes back. I am in Naples, FL and have grown Giant Milkweed for 3 years and it survives and blooms all year. Balloon Milkweed is a vigorous heat and sun loving tropical African shrub that is grown as a dieback perennial except in areas with mild winter climates. Hi Kris, we have seen more eggs on the physocarpus, but this can vary from season to season…they are both used as host plants by monarchs. Several more should be opening any day now. Attracted so many Monarch butterfly’ caterpillars- hatched 25 even during Hurricane Irma and let them fly. Seed pods are lime green and … Also, when is a good time to start the tropical seeds I gathered from last season’s plants? I dragged the potted plant indoors Thursday night for the freeze, and took cuttings from the big one in the vegetable garden to ripen the seeds indoors. It came in a 4″ pot and is about the same height. No matter which varieties you plant (both native and non-native), many predators have adapted to the poisonous nature of milkweed, which is why it’s estimated only between 1-5% of monarchs survive to become butterflies outdoors. I forgot to mention that I live in Long Beach, CA. Did you have any success with that? The first pod (on the potted plant) just split today, with lots of shiny dark brown seeds inside. I was able to germinate several seeds though. Hi Craig, click on the resource links at the bottom of the page. Keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate in 10 - 20 days. I started some in our porch last spring and was successful (I’m in Minnesota) You can see the results of G. fruticosus, but this also worked for the balloon plant: Starting G. fruticosus seeds in a wet coffee filter. I have ordered 4 different ones… Davis, Virginia Silk, Wild Cotton, Family Jewels & Thin Leaf Milkweed. Just bought from local farmers stand . I just saw this in a local nursery next to giant milkweed today. I frequent it often for the useful info on plants and butterflies. I collected some of the seeds from the pods that have opened. I would expect a high germination rate. Otherwise, you could overwinter indoors or start seeds indoors next spring. Hi Mary, I’ve overwintered a couple inside with pods and the seeds did mature…. The only thing I saw enjoying the nectar was a lot of ants! I like slow release because you don’t have to keep applying it: I stumbled across this article whilst researching weeds that grow on my property in northern New South Wales, Australia. Most all of them are 6+ feet tall and filled with large maturing seed pods. Farmer said they spread by seed for her. Should I go ahead and sow mine now or wait til spring? Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators, Gomphocarpus physocarpus: Asclepias physocarpa is the former botanical name, Goose plant, Giant swan plant, Hairy balls, Family jewels, Oscar, Cotton-bush, Balloon plant milkweed. I have purchased from there, as well as Nelson’s Water Gardens, in Katy, TX. Wondered if I should pinch young seedlings to promote branching. Hi Elaina, your best bet is probably finding a local nursery that sells butterfly plants…good luck! Milkweed actually does double duty, acting as a host plant and a nectar plant (a plant that adult butterflies feed on). I know some florists use them in actual flower arrangements too. Do the need light to germinate or should they be covered. Should I let the lady bugs and aphids duke it out or spray the plant with a hose to remove the aphids? Shop great deals on Milkweed Full Sun Perennial Flower & Plant Seeds. Hi Tony, I noticed this AM that I had at least 10 cats on my Scarlett MW and very few leaves left on my 5 plants so I rushed to the nursery and bought 2 more plants, but while there they showed me several physocarpa that look really good but I hesitated. Do you have any suggestions. Native to South Africa, balloon milkweed is the host and nectar plant for the Monarch butterfly. I love in illinois and I’m hoping to save the seeds to plant next year. Do I now just remove plants from garden as I assume neither plant will come back next year. A friend of mine just cleaned out his garden and told me that he was going to give me some milkweed seeds. And, because I cut my plants down in the fall, I had healthy, full plants for the spring migration! trim height as well. Newsletter for butterfly tips, sales, new products, coupons and more…! You could always try and get some seeds as back up. Here are some ideas to stop aphids from taking over your milkweed plants: 10 Ways to Stop Aphids from Taking Over Milkweed. Hi Chris, I’ve never heard of this happening to others handling physocarpus. Plant Name: Balloon Plant Milkweed Plants. I have a dozen or so plants in 4.5″ geranium pots, and a few in 6″ pots, and a few still in little Dixie cups that I’m moving up to bigger pots today. I thought I’d give it awhile and see what would happen. I’m not sure if the plant gives off a scent/pheromone or if it is the milky sap – but it works. Maybe it was was an allergic reaction? Who sells balloon plant seeds? Hi Mary, if you’re in California you can plant them directly outdoors now or in spring. Thank you for your website. Antelope Horn Milkweed Plants (Asclepias asperula), Narrowleaf Milkweed Plants (Asclepias fascicularis). What is the “season” for the pods? Or do I have this all wrong? I am now the proud owner of 3 of these plants. Zone 10b : 35 to 40 (F). Thanks Tony for sending this link to me through The Beautiful Monarch! I live in Florida. I collected seeds using a baggie to place balls in before they opened . They are cold hardy to zone 8 so if you’re in a zone 8 or above, it should hopefully come back next season, but I would ask someone who grows this in your region. (kinda looks like it in your “open sesame” picture). I brought in four last fall. I think, if I do this next fall, I will use a heat pad! I didn’t plant any this summer but have a nice patch of them growing again this summer in the same place they grew last year. As I am wanting to purchase other kinds of milkweed, could you tell me from where you buy yours? I bought several plants of this species last year, 2013, and enjoyed growing it. interesting theory Jackye…I have never heard this before. Should I start them indoors too and overwinter them inside or can I plant them directly in the ground? Then…it came to me…”great balls of fire…that’s the hairy ball plant!”. Hi Paul, I’m not sure about the growth cycle in warm regions on the US. (I have been covering my plant during the “freezes” so that it will be ready for spring migration!). Germinating the seeds in water gave me a lot of Gomphocarpus physocarpus plants this year. Good intentions may be harming our monarchs. Brenda Naylor I bought 8 of the balloon plants at a nursery were I live in central Florida.Iknew nothing about them accept they were milkweed for monarch then I saw the balls come out and went on the site.Will Ineed to start seeds in doors? Asclepias physocarpa (balloon milkweed) blooms all year round. My last seed pod finally finished developing. My question is: I am rooting in water a bunch of the stems I cut to use. Native to South Africa, this plant is an invasive in tropical climates, but in my zone 6-7 area, winter cold keep it in check. I went from, at one point, having 11 to now having 4. Scott Davis oversees the Monarch Milkweed Initiative at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. trim back but leave a couple of growing bubs on each stem the way you want the plant to grow. The TP just falls apart when it gets wet. BTW, all kinds of wasps *loved* the flowers. Monarch’s plight. By the way – they call G. physocarpus Bishop’s Balls in the UK and you can buy seeds and plants there. You’ll have an interesting centerpiece and the seeds should ripen to maturity. Good luck with your plants! Miami , fl 33175 (305) 271-7190. Now I’m reading how sensitive to cooler climates it is. Plant seeds 1/8" deep and 36” apart, using 3 seeds per hole. Thanks. Any help is appreciated. It hasn’t taken a tree shape as the photo shows, but they do get 8 – 9 ft. tall. Hi Tony Asclepia’s are very good at deterring moles. Hi Brenda, in northern regions seeds need to be started early or the seed pods won’t mature. They are waiting to feed Monarch caterpillars! Yesterday I was given one of the balls with seeds. I didn’t even bother to cut it back …. I have got a balloon milkweed, but I don’t know what the benefits of this plant are and what it’s used for? I pulled out all our plants today but did make a table centerpiece with a few of the stalks to get more seeds in the next couple weeks. good luck! Home. only bought it because strangest looking balls in your face . If they did, it didn’t give you much of a head start. If they are dark brown, they should be mature…congrats! You are welcome Kerry! I’ve had honey bee’s pollinate the blooms. I ended up using neem oil and that works but don’t know the damage to caterpillars from the oil. The spread of non-native Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias currasivica), which is the most common commercially available species of milkweed, is having a negative impact on the population of Monarchs. It is also called Cotton-bush,Hairy Balls, Oscar, and Swan Plant. A Milkweed family member, another common name is Balloon Plant. The seedlings are 4″ tall. I have 100 days before the next freeze…hopefully that will be enough time to see the plant in all its glory. Any recommendations? Hi Jacqui, thanks for the UK info and the scandalous new nickname. I live in Florida zone 10, but I was also wondering if I should start them in pots, because our soil is very sandy. Seeds and plants are available thru my Amazon affiliate product banners. Yes, the caterpillars prefer other Milkweed in my garden, but do eat the Giant as well. Do I need to add, or avoid, any Miracle Grow type products? Their customer service is great, and they have a good selection of Milkweed,too! We do have lots of common milkweed, and that’s where almost all the eggs have been so far. They’re also frequent visitors to our swamp and tropical milkweed plants. It’s a fast growing milkweed and we grow it annually in zone 5. good luck! $ 7.95. I got some milkweed ssp in my my eye and it almost blinded me. z: 3 to 9, Found in hill prairies to open woodlands, from Canada to Florida, east of the Rocky Mountians. These plants can hold the O.E. I started to pull it and then thought better. The reason you shouldnt mix natives and non natives that are this closely related is that they will hybridize and you’ll lose native population. Here are some facts about this amazing plant: Fast growing annual Milkweed, hardy in zones 8-10

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