En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 18, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Milkweed Seedlings Source for Austin, Texas
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Where can I find seedlings or four inch pots of common milkweed? I have a backyard garden that is mostly filtered sunlight and space for them.

ANSWER:

Many different milkweeds (Asclepias sp.) are native to Texas and come in a range of intriguing pink, white, green, or orange blooms. Included in this group, Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed is also a frequent resident of roadsides and old fields through most of the eastern half of North America.

Most milkweeds prefer fill sun and well drained, lean soils but there is one Texas native that will grow in full shade (2 hours or less of sun), Asclepias obovata, (pineland milkweed) and a few that like moist soils such as the swamp milkweed, (Asclepias incarnata) and the fewflower milkweed, (Asclepias lanceolata).

If you are planting milkweed for the monarch butterflies (which you should!), many experts recommend planting milkweeds, other than the common one in Central Texas. Here’s a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question about finding milkweed to feed monarch larvae.

To help narrow down your selection and convince you to consider expanding your milkweed planting beyond the common variety, Dr. Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch recommends Asclepias asperula (antelope horns) or Asclepias viridis (green antelope horn) for Austin, San Antonio and Central Texas for wildscape areas. Visit the Texas Butterfly Ranch for more information on the best milkweed plants to choose for monarch butterflies.

So to give you some milkweed alternatives to Asclepias syriacus, here are some additional Texas natives to consider.

Asclepias amplexicaulis (clasping milkweed)

Asclepias arenaria (sand milkweed)

Asclepias asperula (antelope horns)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterflyweed) - Take a look at these previous questions on growing butterflyweed from seed.

Asclepias viridiflora (green milkweed)

Asclepias viridis (green antelopehorn)

To find sources of plants or seeds for your milkweeds take a look at the Suppliers List on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Just search for Texas and a list of about 25 nurseries and seed suppliers will appear with links to more detailed information about each one. The Monarch Watch group also have milkweed plant and seed suppliers online which include several in Texas.

By the way, starting milkweed from seed might be the best option for you and it's not that difficult. The Monarch Watch website has some good information on propagating and growing milkweeds.

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Clasping milkweed
Asclepias amplexicaulis

Sand milkweed
Asclepias arenaria

Spider milkweed
Asclepias asperula

Green milkweed
Asclepias viridiflora

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Green antelopehorn
Asclepias viridis

Pineland milkweed
Asclepias obovata

Fewflower milkweed
Asclepias lanceolata

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Information about Lady Lupine (Lupinus villosus)
April 20, 2008 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, Lady Lupine grows in our yard in northeast Florida, and I would like to learn more about it, especially the stages it goes through, like now the purple petals themselves are c...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
view the full question and answer

Changing blooming patterns on sunflowers from Kimball NE
September 05, 2013 - The common sunflower seems to be very prolific some years, not so much others. Is this weather related or cyclical?
view the full question and answer

Mexican Sycamore trees grown from seed
November 15, 2011 - If someone is selling an alleged Mexican Sycamore grown from a seed harvested from a mature tree growing in Austin, is it likely to be a TRUE Mexican Sycamore -- or has it most likely been pollinated ...
view the full question and answer

Source for seed of Blackfoot Daisy from Amarillo TX
October 29, 2011 - I need help finding Melampodium leucanthum seed. I have spent the last few hours on the web searching for them. I checked the resources in your lists and cannot find seed. I live in Potter Coun...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center