How To Grow Native Milkweed From Cuttings

Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca All milkweeds are perennials and some can be grown from cuttings. Summer is a prime time to take native milkweed cuttings for a few compelling reasons:

Native milkweed plants still have herbaceous, viable stems
Mid-summer cuttings will grow roots in plenty of time for fall planting
You can keep the cuttings containers outdoors

Cuttings provide a way producing new plants in a relatively short time and it avoids some of the; difficulties of starting plants from seeds. Cuttings can usually be transplanted in 6-10 weeks. Survival is best when cuttings are made from green stems (1/3 inch diameter) obtained from plants fertilized two weeks earlier.

Steps for Taking Native Milkweed Cuttings

Milkweed cuttings setup and equipment Use organic peat or all-purpose potting soil in pots. An alternative idea is to place cuttings in 2 liter soda bottles to give each cutting optimal growing conditions in their own mini-greenhouse.
Mix in perlite or coarse sand to allow more air to reach the newly forming roots.
Water soil thoroughly.
Insert chopstick/pencil in soil to make holes for placing cuttings.
Use a sharp hand pruner to take cuttings and cut the stems under water.
Take a cutting that has between 3-5 leaf nodes (or is about 4″ long).
Pinch off all but the top two pairs of leaves from your cuttings so that water doesn’t evaporate through the leaves.
Scrape the bottom third of the cutting with a sharp knife.
Coat the bottom of the stem with a strong rooting hormone.
Place cuttings in holes and secure soil around them.
Keep cuttings in an area that receives light, but minimal direct sunlight.
Spray soil and leaves daily.

Soil For Cuttings

Plant native milkweed cuttings in an 80/20 mix of perlite to peat moss, which is a more traditional mix for starting stem cuttings than starting them in soil. Adding sand and/or vermiculite to the mix could also increase your success rate for milkweed cuttings. Alternatively, you could direct planting your cuttings in regular garden soil using rooting hormone powder.