Asked December 17, 2016, 1:31 PM EST

Hi. I have 40 milkweed seeds (Asclepias speciosa) in my kitchen that I'm trying to germinate in a seed starting tray, using potting soil. It's been one week and 10 have sprouted. Can you tell me the average amount of time it takes for milkweed seeds to germinate? I found one answer online which says about 2-3 weeks. Does that sound right? Thanks, Elaine

Columbia County Oregon

3 Responses

Thanks for your question. Did you first stratify (chill) the seeds? The germination rate will vary depending on whether you did or did not. Germination rate is lower if no stratification. Two to three weeks sounds fair. Here's a link to a reliable resource giving directions.

Good look. And, go, Monarchs!

Thanks Kristena, that's a huge help. Should I have grow lights going if most have not yet sprouted?

The only reason to have frow lights on before the seeds germinate would be to keep the soil warm. Some people use heating pads under the containers, altho there are commercial ones just made to do that. Especially helpful for starting veggies inside in the spring, before transplant. Tomatoes and peppers need at least 50 degree soil temp to thrive. Milkweed is, well, a weed, and need not be coddled so much.