I have attached a picture of the milkweed in our back yard. It is two years old. I have raised and released over 150 Monarchs in those two years. I have never trimmed it. As you can see, it is pretty tall and full of seed pods (which I have not seen before). Fall and winter is coming (California) and I am worried about how to take care of the milkweed. Should I just leave it be? Should I cut it back/prune it? What should or can I do with the seed pods? Thanks. Sue California
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If the milkweed is a perennial, like Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed) pictured above, you’ll notice tiny leaves growing from the base of the plant at some point after the upper stems have been consumed. Wait for that. Then cut back stems to the new growth and the plant will take off from there.
As a reminder, it is ideal to grow milkweeds that are native to your state if possible. In California, we have several native milkweeds, and seeds can be obtained from Theodore Payne Foundation for at least one of them.