Unusual and abundant cut flower.
Sturdy, gracefully arched branches with neat, bamboo-like foliage. White flowers with lavender-colored centers develop into large, papery seed pods. Plants are grown primarily for their 2-3" decorative seed pods, but the big, sturdy plants also make a vigorous and attractive addition to flower beds and borders. Excellent for large arrangements, dried arrangements, or alone as a centerpiece. Seed pods maintain lime-green color and balloon-like form when dried. Perennial in Zones 9-11. Also known as hairy balls, swan plant, swan milkweed, and balloon plant. Ht. 32-72". Avg. 4,700 seeds/oz. Packet: 50 seeds.
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 14-21 days at 65-70°F (18-21°C)
SOWING: Transplant (recommended) – Sow 7-9 weeks before last frost. Sow 1/4" deep into a seed starting mix. Begins taproot growth upon germination. Do not allow to become pot bound at any time as plants will deteriorate rapidly. Transplant into larger cell packs or 3-4" pots 3-5 weeks after sowing. Harden off and transplant outdoors after the last frost. Direct seed – Can be direct sown in the fall or spring.
LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun.
PLANT HEIGHT: Varies.
PLANT SPACING: 12-24".
HARDINESS ZONES: Varies.
HARVEST: 1/2 to 2/3 of flowers are open. If stems wilt after harvest, rehydrate in water for 24 hours. CAUTION: Milky sap may cause eye and skin irritation.
SOIL: Well-drained, sandy loam to poor soil.
USES: Cut flower. Borders, containers, and butterfly gardens.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Asclepias spp.