I have three 4-month-old Asclepias tuberosa plants I started by seed indoors in late March. I also acquired a cutting from a common milkweed. All are doing great so far. I am concerned about how I should care for them this winter. The three butterfly weed plants are in the ground at about 15-18 inches high and my milkweed is in a container, still a little delicate I think to transplant yet. Can you give me advice on how to keep them all safe through their first Chicago winter?
New Asclepias Plants
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Mulch your plants with a good layer of straw or leaves this winter. Remove the mulch in early spring so you don't smother the young shoots.
They should be fine over winter if you have them in the ground now. They are establishing a good root system to prepare them for winter. Try to get the last one in the ground as soon as possible so it can do the same. Many of the asclepias are native and grow without any help In MN often dropping seed giving you more of the same.