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Growing Milkweed

Photo: The Xerces Society / Brianna Borders

Growing your own milkweed from seed can be an effective and economical way to increase the number of milkweed plants in your landscape - but it can also be a challenge. Use the resources below to learn more about starting your own milkweed from seed.

Before You Grow - Seed Selection and What Not to Grow

To provide the best resources for monarchs and to ensure you're growing milkweed that is most likely to survive and thrive it is important to select species that are native to your area and suited to your growing conditions. Please see our Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner's Guide and regional milkweed guides for more information, and use our milkweed seed finder to source seed as locally as possible.

Recommendation against planting tropical and other non-native milkweeds

The nonnative, evergreen tropical milkweed (A. curassavica) has been associated with an increase in transmission of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE), may disrupt the natural reproductive diapause monarchs enter during the fall, and may interrupt or delay migration. Due to these and other concerns, the Xerces Society, along with Monarch Joint Venture, Project Monarch Health, and leading monarch researchers recommend against planting non-native milkweeds such as tropical milkweed and balloon plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpus). For more information please read our article Tropical Milkweed, a No Grow.