i have had milkweed (common) growing in my yard for a few years -- all planted by nature. the first year it bloomed, and grew 2 seed pods. the next year there were more plants, and some flowers, but no seedpods. this year there are multiple plants, but no flowers.... is there a reason for this? (someof these plants may come from new seed pods, as i make art with the dry pods and "free" the seeds in the fall )
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Different species of milkweed have different growth strategies, so it depends on what species you have. In general, milkweed may not flower in the first year of growth, because it is investing its resources in growing a strong root system. Also, if there is excess nitrogen in the soil the plant may not flower, so do not fertilize milkweed. Finally, milkweed may not bloom if the plant is stressed, such as by drought or excessive heat. Luckily, monarchs will lay their eggs on milkweed even if it is not flowering! The caterpillars eat the leaves of the plant, so your milkweed can still be a host plant without flowers.