The seeds are smaller than I remember! If the monarchs used it at all during the fall, you might want to cut back some stems so fresh growth can emerge, the same as you would do for tropical milkweed. they would still grow even with the paper towel on the roots but I get that problem too. If you leaf mulch the plants before winter they might come back. Thank you Fran. I just bought this milkweed started from a cutting based on the description that it is one of the “most popular” with Monarchs. Purchase Balloon Milkweed Plants or Seeds from Joyful Butterfly, 2. Water regularly allowing the soil to go nearly dry between each watering. I’m actually looking for these to use in a flower arrangement. Thanks for the info. Great plants that attract monarchs, however be very careful when cutting or trimming. Both plants are doing well in dry garden conditions, but I have not had any monarch caterpillars on them so far. Called by several common names, it is a popular non-native milkweed in the United States. I have got a balloon milkweed, but I don’t know what the benefits of this plant are and what it’s used for? The birds kept eating the caterpillars so I put a wire fence around & on top of it so that the butterflies could still get in but the birds can’t. and I live near you. It’s a fast growing milkweed and we grow it annually in zone 5. good luck! I am totally confused! only bought it because strangest looking balls in your face . Very interesting plant- now a monarch hatchery, use cuttings to allow them munch, pulpate, transition into monarchs. Hi Chris, I’ve never heard of this happening to others handling physocarpus. Our native species are all around us in our natural areas, but … They are not cold hardy to your zone so I’d be surprised if they came back, but gardening is full of mysteries and miracles so it’s definitely possible. Hi Paul, I’m not sure about the growth cycle in warm regions on the US. Butterfly milkweed ( A. tuberosa) is the most available of the native species and is suitable for use in many parts of Florida. Thx! Balloon Plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, is a member of the milkweed family although not normally labeled an Asclepias species. Good luck with your new plants…, Hi, Tony. I brought in four last fall. I had bought it 3 hours north of where I live. Milkweed responds well to fertilizers, but is not a necessity. I live in Michigan and purchased several stems of this plant at a local market. Thanks Tony for sending this link to me through The Beautiful Monarch! Not much rain water in Texas right now. Here are some facts about this amazing plant: Fast growing annual Milkweed, hardy in zones 8-10 I was lucky, though, as my eye has healed up without having any long term complications that I could of had! Should I go ahead and sow mine now or wait til spring? Hi Bob, year old seeds should still be fresh. If I end up with 40 or 50 plants I can give some away. I live in the sunnier south east, will they be ok overwinter?? I have been there, done that, & it isn’t a fun experience, let me tell you!! The pods did not mature in time before the cold came, even tho we had a loooong warm fall. Do you think I should keep the seed pods and hope that they will finish developing, or are they doomed since they are no longer on the plant (or stem cutting). If so, how did you do it? Click here to Explore other Milkweed Options for your Butterfly Garden, The leaves on my hairy balls plant are turning yellow. We also had very cold winter but with heavy snow cover. Is this the normal lifespan—tree dies after “ballooning”? I didn’t buy it again this year as it is not available locally. We have gotten a majority of our eggs on common this year too. (kinda looks like it in your “open sesame” picture). I bet coffee filters are good too ’cause the roots probably can’t grow into them. …and yes, I am also interested in growing native milkweeds in my garden but have not had any success so far with A. fascicularis, I intend to try again with A. speciosa next spring. You’ll have an interesting centerpiece and the seeds should ripen to maturity. Hi Mary, we don’t get many eggs on physocarpus, but have found more on G. fruticosus. I was told my A. incarnate would hybridize with A. perennes but that has never been the case for years. The packet said 25 seeds but it looked like more than that. Do I now just remove plants from garden as I assume neither plant will come back next year. Some time ago, you mentioned you were going to try propagating Oscar from leaf cuttings. The TP just falls apart when it gets wet. Thanks! I have had a huge issue with Aphids. Hi Fran, you’re on the borderline for hardiness. Or will they last a few years like temperate-climate varieties? Thank you, Mary. Hi Brian, they aren’t going to develop further if they have been removed from the stem. I tried to open one and found a green pod inside. Hi Kae, this often has to do with water…too little or not enough. Wondered if I should pinch young seedlings to promote branching. 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. I started to pull it and then thought better. good luck! (perennis); and balloon milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa). Maybe next year? Hi Sherri, don’t worry about physocarpa popping. Are these cuttings from the parent plant contaminated? My question is, given my locale, when is a good time to start the seeds inside? I’m not sure if the plant gives off a scent/pheromone or if it is the milky sap – but it works. Full sun to part shade. Should I cut every branch back to the trunk—and end up with a stick of a tree? Hummingbirds have been pollinating my Gomphocarpus physocarpus. 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. Only thing is, I don’t know how to properly cut them back. If you want the G. physocarpus seeds to germinate faster, soak them in water for 24 hours before planting. I am in Zone 7b – Burlington, NC. Do you have any suggestions. I would expect a high germination rate. Hi. Fast growers. The main purpose of this comment is to urge caution around Gomphocarpus physocarpus, it is a voracious weed in this part of the world and has become an increasing problem on farmland, roadsides and in conservation areas. Hi Khaba, the ballon plant is a host plant for monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and also the plain tiger butterfly (Danaus chrysippus)…. Little did I know that he would be handing me three seed pods the size of small oranges. You might want to talk to someone in your region who grows this or a local nursery to get some “Florida” insight. They open very gradually. Hi Wendy, check out this post for overwintering info: Hey there.. I’m outside of Vancouver, Canada. Do those need cold stratification too? My last seed pod finally finished developing. I’m trying to look for a natural way to fight them. It is poisonous to stock and humans and the sap is a skin irritant, I’ve been hand-pulling plants this morning and now my hands tingle and eyes burn (hence my research!). If some of the pods are “close” to developing right before your first frost, take a long cutting and put it in a vase. I purchased a hairyball milkweed and how its seed pods are starting to open. Typically G. physocarpus is one of the fast species to germinate, starting in under a week. They must be growing from last summer’s roots? Have pics for proof. Easy, drought-tolerant and trouble free. Get outdoors for some landscaping or spruce up your garden! I, too, am very aware of it, & I will cut off a branch(es) from my Milkweed, if I don’t think it looks healthy, any time of the year! Hi Anna, I’ll let Shirley answer too if you are looking for a local resource but there are also links to purchase online if you check out my milkweed resources page: 18+ Milkweed Ideas for your Butterfly Garden. bloom: Late summer white flowers. Or would I have to bring it in to overwinter? Hi Toni, I wrote an article about this issue a year ago, and no new info has come to light since I wrote it. They are waiting to feed Monarch caterpillars! One more time: starting seeds indoors early will give you a huge jump on the season and is a must for northern gardeners. I bought one of the “Goose plants” (it was labeled “Family Jewels”) thru mail order last October, & I immediately planted it outside. Find More Balloon Plants Seeds on Etsy. I am in Naples, FL and have grown Giant Milkweed for 3 years and it survives and blooms all year. What size pot do you recommend? Meanwhile wasps are killing my cats so I brought my 2 new plants inside and picked 12 cats off outside and brought them in!! My luck with the Davis, Virginia Silk & Thin Leaf Milkweed, has not been as good, but I haven’t given up, yet. This milkweed species is a rare find in nurseries, so seeds are probably your only option in most regions. We have been watering plenty—so I don’t think we killed them by under watering. They sometimes get Danaus plexippus in the UK and a few people raise them. My friends & neighbors all thought that I would stop growing Milkweed because of my ordeal, but, not a chance!! It produces clusters of 1/2" wide cream to white star shaped flowers with a purplish 'eye' and the flowers attract butterflies along … My Wild Cotton & Family Jewels have survived, & both have had eggs & caterpillars this summer. 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. I’m in Zone 9B- nursery plant grew well over 6 feet- allowed pods to disperse seeds and also harvested seeds for 2018 season. My advice though, is to try BOTH methods and see if one outperforms the other. Shop great deals on Milkweed Full Sun Perennial Flower & Plant Seeds. Until one particularly large swamp milkweed plant started producing flower buds, these were the plants where we found the most eggs. We had a very cold winter last year as well. Perhaps the plants go dormant over your Florida winter? Florida has twenty-one milkweed plants native to the state. They grew to about two inches high, then lost their leaves several months ago. Any tips on it’s desired soil moisture or other? I also trim ALL of my Milkweed down to 6 to 8 inches in the fall, although I stagger trimming them, by areas, so that I don’t strip all the leaves away at the same time, just in case there might be eggs/caterpillars that will need food! It came in a 4″ pot and is about the same height. Yup…they are indeed hairy balls. Take this as a warning… You might be extremely sensitive to the plants, so it would be best to wear long sleeves/pants & gloves anytime you work around & in your Milkweed! Should I dry the stems and “balls” or leave them in water and give them an occasional fresh cutting until they open? I was given a bouquet which included it a few weeks ago. 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 never seen such an interesting seed pod before. I’m also adding showy,whorled, and common milkweed to the butterfly, tropical, and swamp milkweed I already have. Thanks a lot. (Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow') Instead of the common orange, shades of yellow and gold will brighten your garden and attract many different Butterflies and even Hummingbirds!Blooms for weeks in early summer. Balloon Milkweed. 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. Hi Bob, they grow well here but it’s best to get an early start so they have time to seed. The gomphocarpus and other exotic milkweeds do not have this effect. They are in moist potting soil in half a milk carton, under 220W of fluorescent lights and wrapped in saran wrap so they don’t dry out. Very easy… try it out. If they did, it didn’t give you much of a head start. Spicebush Swallowtails gathering nectar from the pink flowers of Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata variety pulchra). I’ve been looking at floral wholesalers, but not having any luck finding any….Thanks!! Or do I have this all wrong? And now, I am warning you, as well as any one that should read this, to do the same! Today it popped open emitting the seeds. 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. These are some of the fertilizers we’ve used over the years. Scott Davis oversees the Monarch Milkweed Initiative at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. I want to comment on your concern about protecting the butterflies/caterpillars from the virus that Asclepias can carry. I only have about 3 plants left and they are now in a grow pot outside, however, they do not seem to be growing very fast, if at all over the past few weeks. sun: Full to Part Sun. Are they a lot smaller than common milkweed and swamp milkweed seeds? Did you have any success with that? You can sow yours directly in Florida…, 3 Big Advantages of Winter Sown Milkweed + Winter Sowing Container ideas. Thank you for writing about this plant. It made a small annual tree, of sorts, behind a back flower bed. The seedlings are 4″ tall. Good intentions may be harming our monarchs. Enjoy the rest of your garden/raising season in California! Good luck with your plants! 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). BTW, all kinds of wasps *loved* the flowers. Miami , fl 33175 (305) 271-7190. hi Debra, I’ve brought in stalks with pods to develop the seeds more and can confirm they would make a great flower arrangement. Just yesterday I noted a “weed”. Asclepias physocarpa (Gomphocarpus physocarpus) milkweed has several common names like Swan plant, Balloon plant Milkweed, Oscar milkweed, and Family Jewels. Fertilizer in the pot? Hi Rhonda, if you just purchased the plants, they might have been treated with pesticides or they could have OE spores or bacteria that are making the caterpillars sick. Milkweeds Native to Florida. If so what would you recommend in terms of that since it’s woody would you still trim it back to about 6-8″ tall? It is also called Cotton-bush,Hairy Balls, Oscar, and Swan Plant. This is the first year I have ever seen them here and I have been raising Monarchs for 9 years now. The seeds take a LONG time to ripen. If it happens again, I would wear gloves when handling the plants. (I do protect many of my plants from freezes, too. 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? If it freezes before they open, you can always take a stem cutting to put in water and let it finish indoors…guessing it won’t come to that. Hi Wendy, I think most milkweed seeds can survive cold temps but there is typically much less seeding from warm weather varieties. Good luck with your plants! I bought a plant last year , $9.95 in a 6 inch pot and about 4 1/2 feet tall .. it had 9 well developed balls . 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. You could always try and get some seeds as back up. If you have noticed other pollinators on the goose plant, please leave a comment below. I had over a dozen eggs laid on it! The seeds were planted indoors and sprouted very quickly. Just remove and discard those leaves and adjust your watering habits to see if that makes a difference. interesting theory Jackye…I have never heard this before. The terminology for this plant is a little confusing. Plant Name: Balloon Plant Milkweed Plants. Leaves usually start yellowing toward the base of the plant. This particular specie has showy flowers, is easy to grow, and has spread to natural areas and open pastures in Florida. In pairs. Thank you can cut the stems and let them finish developing indoors…good luck! Recently, I’ve also noticed monarchs and hummingbirds sipping nectar from it. I was lucky enough to buy it at a tourist attraction , the Filoli estates in Mt. It hasn’t taken a tree shape as the photo shows, but they do get 8 – 9 ft. tall. height: SHORT ~ 1 1/2 feet. I’m sure it won’t bloom this year- we’re mid-way through summer, but my concern is will it have enough time to grow a strong enough root system before frost comes (December.) After reading that they need “warm” water, I’m guessing that may be the problem. Good luck! Here are some ideas to stop aphids from taking over your milkweed plants: 10 Ways to Stop Aphids from Taking Over Milkweed. I’ve been using cuttings for raising caterpillars indoors, but I haven’t been finding eggs and caterpillars on the plants in the garden, except for one caterpillar. I would still soak the seeds before planting, but direct planting should work well for you. The seeds were a lot smaller than native milkweeds, so I didn’t want to pre-germinate them in wet toilet paper. Antelope Horn Milkweed Plants (Asclepias asperula), Narrowleaf Milkweed Plants (Asclepias fascicularis). Whorled Milkweed. Who sells balloon plant seeds? I have milkweed plants and hairy balls milkweed. I am so looking forward to seeing how this interesting Milkweed is going to do! This is my second year of dedicating my flower beds to the butterflies and I’ve had much success, including seeing several monarch catterpillars. we planted these as 4 ft trees about 11 months ago—they are now about 5.5 feet tall. Physocarpus should probably grow well as a perennial in your region. I found a several dozen eggs on my Gomphocarpus physocarpus this year. We even have some tropical milkweed that reseeds in Minnesota. When & how do I plant the seeds? Hi Darlene, physocarpa is cold hardy to your region so there is no need to extend the growing season by starting indoors. I have purchased from there, as well as Nelson’s Water Gardens, in Katy, TX. do they need to come indoors??? It is not rare or threatened but the seeds are difficult to come by since they are seldom collected from their host plants. I too live in Houston. Hi! Asclepias is a genus of herbaceous, perennial, flowering plants known as milkweeds, named for their latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides, exuded where cells are damaged. 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. The plant is related to milkweed and attracts bees and wasps making it a good choice for growing near the veggie garden. I will start checking them in a day or two so I can remove the saran wrap. If you don’t find the eggs right away, a hungry predator will. Thanks for your report from South Africa! 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. good luck! I frequent it often for the useful info on plants and butterflies. Hi Tony Asclepia’s are very good at deterring moles. I’ve seen a Monarch caterpillar eating leaves and black wasps pollinating. Tony Gomez says. All I really need is a couple of plants. Farmer said they spread by seed for her. Is it any useful or it is just a show-piece? It produces clusters of 1/2" wide cream to white star shaped flowers with a purplish 'eye' and the flowers attract butterflies along … Any suggestions where I might be able to find them stateside? Hi CorryAnne, they are only cold hardy to zone 8, but are fast growing annuals…, Thanks for your reply Tony! I received some seeds and grew about 8 plants in a large pot in southwestern Ohio—monarchs laid tons of eggs on them in August, and I had several hummingbirds nectaring often on the blooms in the early morning. Try a facebook group like: PS…milkweed bugs eat the seeds, but don’t typically kill plants. If the plants were treated with pesticides, I would suggest cutting them back so that healthy new grow can emerge. 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