Who Wants Some Free Purple Milkweed Seeds? Limited Supply!

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurescens) is an excellent garden milkweed that for some strange reason is difficult to find.

Purple Milkweed
Purple Milkweed

What’s so unique about Purple Milkweed? First of all, it actually prefers part shade. It will grow in full sun, but will then need more moisture. Secondly, it is very polite, spreading only moderately by seed. Both these qualities are unusual for the genus, which has a thuggish reputation.

Actually, you need to be careful not to surround Purple Milkweed with big bushy plants, or it may disappear on you. This plant grows about 3-4′ in the garden.

The flower is much like Common Milkweed (Asclepisa syriaca), but it is a sort of rosy-purple color. Unfortunately, it is not fragrant.

Like other Milkweeds, Purple Milkweed is a host plant for Monarch Butterflies and attracts many pollinators with its blooms.

Purple Milkweed seed pods last Sunday.
Purple Milkweed seed pods after the first snowfall.

Anyhow, some time ago a couple of people asked me if I would send them seeds. I kept an eye on the pods, which seemed much slower to ripen than those of my other Milkweeds. Finally, on Sunday I noticed that several of the pods had vanished, so I picked the remaining four.

I’m sorry that I didn’t make a note of everyone who has asked for seeds.

Purple Milkweed seed pods after picking
Purple Milkweed seed pods after picking

If you would like some seeds, please post a comment, then write to me at the email address listed on my “About” page. As long as supplies last I will send each person about 10 seeds. I’m guessing I have between 150 and 200 seeds.

Purple Milkweed seeds
Purple Milkweed seeds. Picture is rather fuzzy (like the last one), I took it with my phone in low light.

The seeds are supposed to have a good germination rate. They can be sown outside now. If sown inside, they should be first mixed with moist planting media, placed in a plastic bag, and left in the refrigerator for about 30 days. Check on them to make sure they don’t dry out of sprout. Any sprouting seed should be planted right away.

The only places I know of where you can buy Purple Milkweed are Shooting Star Nursery in Kentucky and Prairie Moon Nursery in Minnesota. Prairie Moon sells only seeds, and I believe they are currently out of stock.

45 Comments on “Who Wants Some Free Purple Milkweed Seeds? Limited Supply!”

  1. Oh, I would love to have some purple milkweed seeds, please. I am on my third attempt at establishing butterfly weed plants in my garden and have now turned to direct sowing seed. So perhaps I may be lucky too with purple milkweed seed. I hear it is a gem. The tropical milkweed, about which you posted the NY Times article, is the only milkweed with which I’ve had success so far, and that is now deemed a “no no”!
    Shooting Star Nursery in Georgetown, Kentucky is a wonderful resource for native plants. They were almost exclusively mail order, but in the past couple of years have opened their acreage to visitors (and buyers!) in spring and summer. A veritable treasure trove.
    Have been meaning to write and tell you how much I enjoy your lively and informative posts, which I happened upon by chance.
    Thank you!

  2. Thank you for offering to share these seeds! If still available, I would love to add this plant to the gardens tended by our gardening group, BC Gardeners, at Black Creek Village Library in Black Creek, WI.

    On a completely different subject, I just shared your blog with half a dozen or so Master Gardeners who are planning to launce a blog for Outagamie County Master Gardeners up here in northeast Wisconsin. In my opinion, yours is one of the best!

  3. Thank goodness you remembered to collect the pods before they were all gone. I’ll pass on seeds, since I’m not attentive enough with baby plants, but will look for some bigger ones in spring. We have a very strong native plant group in the Upstate and I’m sure someone will be happy to point me in the right direction. Thanks for the offer!

  4. It’s a beauty! I’ve seen it in the wild several times (Wisconsin state parks and natural areas). But I didn’t have much luck with it here in my garden. Even though I have a shady garden, the slugs got to it. I think I have a place to try it again next spring–a spot that might have a little more drainage and fewer slugs. I was able to get it at a local nursery, and I think we have some up at the cottage, too (although it’s hard to tell the difference between it and Common Milkweed until they bloom). Great plant–the purple flowers are gorgeous.

  5. I do, I do!! I’ve been trying to catch up on blogs the last few days, and I usually start with the older posts I’ve missed first, but when I saw your heading, I had to pop over. I didn’t realize there were so many different varieties of milkweed; this is one I’m not familiar with. My goal is to establish some different milkweeds next year, especially after my swamp milkweed seeds met with a too-aggressive weed-killing husband this year:) I’m going to order more of the swamp milkweed seeds, and I have a pod of seeds from the common milkweed that I swiped from along the roadside. Keeping my fingers crossed some of them germinate next year.

  6. What a nice offer!
    I managed to get one of these to sprout the year before last but it’s never managed to break the 5 inch tall barrier…. I guess it’s in too much dry sun, thanks for the tip, hopefully it’s not too late for my plant :/

  7. Hi Jason, that is such a generous offer! I would really like some seeds if you still have any. I’m a college student so I don’t have a permanent place to put plants (yet) but I think these would make a perfect Christmas gift for my mom, she is newly interested in native wildflowers. šŸ™‚

  8. Would like some of the purple milkweed seeds if they are still available. Lovely picture of your garden! I’m trying to establish a Monarch habitat but the common milkweed is too aggressive for my taste.

  9. Hi there,

    If you still have a few seeds I would be thrilled if you could send a few my way! I live in Madison WI and having one heck of a time finding anything local. I do have other varieties but have been on the lookout for the purple.

    Thank you!

  10. Last fall we planted a butterfly garden on our church campus. We would like to add different kinds of milkweed. I know the purple seeds are hard to come by and are usually sold out by the time I find any. Do you still offer them to people?

  11. Hi! I may be late the game, but last summer I planted a butterfly garden in my yard in suburban Chicago. I have been thrilled to not only see Monarchs stop by the garden, but also find Monarch caterpillars on my Butterfly Weed. I would love to diversity the Milkweed I have in my yard, so if you have any Purple Milkweed seeds, I would be very much interested.

  12. I know this post offer was from 2014 and saw the string into 2018 but it is fast approaching this time of year. I would love free purple milkweed seeds from anyone who can spare them in fall 2018 or beyond. I have a 2 acre lot and would like to plant thousands. Mail to F. McKenna 631 country club lane Itasca IL 60143 – check out the property adjacent to my address. If you can spare 10 I’ll take them. 1,000, I’ll take them. Thank you so much. Saw more monarchs in 2018 then we ever have after planting our butterfly garden. Wish to have hundreds next year.

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