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Native milkweed plants awakening



Oh, don't you love Spring?


I've been monitoring our native milkweed pots for the past few weeks, wondering if the milkweed plants that went dormant would actually sprout again. We have had these milkweed plants for at least 8 years now, and you just never know how long the plants thrive in pots.


This group of sprouts must have pushed through the soil overnight, because they weren't there yesterday.

As you see here, some of the native milkweed sprouts start out red until the first green leaves push through.

Interesting how these are growing in a little circle.










This Showy Milkweed sprout also pushed through the soil overnight.

The beige colored stump at the top center of the photo is of the mother plant.

Showy milkweed spreads by rhizomes (underground runners or roots), and new growth doesn't necessarily sprout in the same place as the mother plant.










From what I've observed in our milkweed pots, after winter dormancy, new growth of the Narrow Leaf milkweed tends to occur on and around the base of the mother plant. This Narrow Leaf milkweed was the first of all of our milkweed plants to awaken from dormancy and produce new shoots.











This Showy Milkweed sprout is a welcome surprise.

One of my neighbors gave me the plant last summer from one of our local nurseries, but the plant didn't grow and withered. I assumed the plant didn't survive, but look at this! After dormancy we have a new shoot.

Hopefully it will do well this year and provide nourishment for monarch caterpillars.










In this pot there are three Showy Milkweed plants sprouting.

It's a relief to see them thriving, because last month I transplanted their dormant mother plant from a small pot to this larger pot. I wasn't sure if anything would grow, but took the chance.


Since you usually can't see the dormant milkweed plants, you never know if they are still viable plants.

Sometimes you just see the soil they were growing in, or there might be just a dried up straw-like stalk.


Milkweed seedlings don't like to be transplanted, and usually don't survive.

In this case the transplanted milkweed plant is a mature plant, and didn't seem to mind the change.













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