Do you Prune Milkweed and Verbena Bonarienses

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Hi, everybody-- just wondering....

I was at the garden center and saw their Milkweed 'Silky Red' planted in a display garden and each plant had about 5 stems. Mine (which I purchased at the same garden center some weeks ago) has only a single stem on each plant. Do you think they cut back their milkweed to get a fuller plant? Do you?

And 'ditto' for the Verbena Bonarienses. Their's was shortish (about 2 feet and bushier). Mine is 4 feet and thin.

Should I be topping these off, do you think?

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 8b)

Tobasco, I think they do prune them both to get the bushiness. I have a little magnifying glass and I trim mine when there's no cat eggs on them, except for the Verbena, which I'm always cutting back.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


Thanks, fly_girl. I wondered about the eggs and how to identify them on the milkweed so I have just been leaving mine be.

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

tabasco, If you are not saving the seeds of these plants you should also remove their seed pods.

Both of the plants you have are very easy from seed, sown in a pot and keep in a sunny window. You should be able to start both in early March and they should be ready to plant out in May.

I always cut back or pinch my butterfly weed when I first plant it, but, it is a perennial here and I like them short and bushy. The bonairensis usually branches out on its own. Keep the spent flowers picked, it will encourage it to flower. I have had terrible luck with bonairensis here, too humid and we have sandy soil, it likes a clay soil better.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)



Thank you. I am definitely going to save the seeds.

I had forgotten that the Milkweed was a larval host plant for the Monarchs so I won't be cutting that back until the season is over---leggy or not!

Cullowhee, NC(Zone 6b)

Can either be wintersown?

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

MissG, yes they can be winter sown, have a sunny window for those frosty nights? Both can survive very cool conditions, both hate any frost.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener

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