The order for milkweed seeds and asters in being placed on Monday so please get your orders in before then. Thank you!

Thank you so very much to everyone participating in the Cape Ann Milkweed Project! Lots more good information to come!

Monarch Caterpillars Eating Common Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012JPGMonarch Caterpillars Munching on Milkweed

Ordering information:

Please note that the milkweed seeds are available in two different species and two different quantities. Please place your order amounts in the comment section of this post as follows:

Your Name, Your Email Address (optional), and Seed Type and Quantity.

For Example:

Pippi Longstocking, villavillkula@gmail.com

1 Packet Common Milkweed  3.50

1 oz.  Marsh Milkweed 15.00

2 Packets Pink New England Aster @ 3.50 ea. =  7.00

My order total: $25.50

We are not collecting money ahead of time for the seeds. The orders are placed entirely by the honor system. Last year we did not have a single stiff and I will accept cash or check at the time of pick up. Seed pick up and information day will be Sunday, May 18th, from 9:30 to noon, at Captain Joe and Sons.

The packets of milkweed seeds (200-300 seeds) are perfect for a relatively smallish patch.

The larger ounce quantity is ideal for planting larger areas. On average, plan on 50 seeds per square foot. If your patch is 10 feet x 10 feet, that equals 100 square feet, and would require approximately 5,000 seeds.

Additionally, we are also offering pink and purple New England Aster seeds. I’ve never grown New England asters from seed, but have read that they are relatively easy to start (although slow to germinate). New England Asters make a beautiful border and will not only offer sustenance to southward migrating Monarchs, but in late summer also provide nectar for myriad species of bees and butterflies.


Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca

Seed Packet (300 seeds) 3.50

1 ounce (4900 seeds)  12.00


 Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Seed packet (200 seeds)  3.50

1 oz. (5,200 seeds) 15.00


Pink New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae variation)

Seed Packet  (1000 seeds) 3.50


Purple New England Aster (Aster novae angliae)

Seed Packet (1750seeds) 3.50

*    *    *

Why is it so important to plant milkweed for the Monarchs? Milkweed is the only food plant of the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar. The Monarch Butterfly migration is in serious peril due to loss of habitat in the United States by the use of Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready corn, soybean, and sorghum crops. Global climate change is also a factor in the diminishing migration. We can all help mitigate some of the destruction by planting milkweed and nectar-rich wildflowers.

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the milkweed we see most typically growing in our dunes, meadows, roadsides, and fields. It grows quickly and spreads vigorously by underground runners. This is a great plant if you have an area of your garden that you want to devote entirely to milkweed. It prefers full sun, will tolerate some shade, and will grow in nearly any type of soil. The flowers are dusty mauve pink and have a wonderful honey-hay sweet scent.

monarch-caterpillars-common-milkweed-c2a9kim-smith-2011Common Milkweed and Monarch Caterpillars J-shape

Marsh Milkweed (Aclepias incarnata) is more commonly found in marshy areas, but grows beautifully in gardens. It does not care for dry conditions. These plants are very well-behaved and are more clump forming, rather than spreading by underground roots. The flowers are typically a brighter pink than Common Milkweed.

Monarch Butterfly marsh Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012Marsh Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) is a hardy late summer blooming perennial that grows approximately 36 inches to 60 inches. New England asters prefer wet to medium soil, grow well in full sun, and will tolerate part shade. 

New England Aster and Monarch Butterfly ©Kim Smith 2014New England Aster


  1. I would love to plant some in the yard here in Florida if they will grow here. Any chance I can send someone a self addressed Manila envelope and a check?


    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Yes, you can place the order and I will contact you via email with order total and where to send your self-addressed stamped envelope.

      Marsh Milkweed is native to Florida (not Common Milkweed). I am not selling Asclepias tuberosa, but that is a terrific milkweed for drier conditions and it is readily available in your community.


    2. I would like to know the same thing, please. I am volunteering to create a butterfly garden at my son’s middle school and this would be a great and helpful resource


        1. I’m in Northeast Florida. I have a dry spot in which I grow the Asclepias tuberosa, the other is wet soil (by a pond). The school is on marshy soil, so I thought maybe the Marsh milkweed?


  2. Mary Patten Johnson mpattenjohnson13@yahoo 1packet common milkweed, 1 ounce marsh milkweed, 1 packet pink New England aster. Thank you


  3. Email order:

    Rachel Wuenschel

    6 packets of common milkweed @ $3.50 ea = $21.00

    2 packets of pink New England Aster @ $3.50 ea = $7.00

    Total= $28.00

    What a great service you’re providing! I’ve been following and forwarding your posts w/info about the Monarchs as well as The new York Times.

    GMG is wonderful and helps me love Gloucester even more (if that’s possible!)

    P.S. Love Captain Joe and Sons. The nicest and the best! I’ll be there on May 18th between 9:00 and noon.

    Thank you,


  4. Thanks so much for providing this opportunity! I’m going to try some at Maritime Gloucester, we’ve been working on establishing native plantings around the aquarium and grounds!

    Mary Kay Taylor (mktaylor@maritimegloucester.org)
    I’d like:
    1 packet of common milkweed @ $3.50
    1 oz of marsh milkweed @ $15
    2 packets of pink aster @ $3.50 ($7.00 total)
    2 packets of purple aster @ $3.50 ($7.00 total)

    Total Order= $ 32.50


  5. This is wonderful Patti and All,

    Recording the orders–keep them coming! At this rate, Cape Ann is going to become an even more popular destination than Cape May with the Monarchs!!!


  6. Why is this “weed” no longer a wild growing item in our landscape? Granted I am ugh 50+ plus but come on people this stuff was freaking abound
    ant in upstate NY in the 70’s!!!!


  7. Placing my order now. What is your deadline for orders? Garden club members may want to order ~ we meet next week.

    1 packet of commen milkweed @ $3.50
    2 1 oz packets of marsh milkweed @ $15.00 ($30.00 total)
    1 packet pink aster @ $3.50
    1 packet of purple aster @3.50

    Total = $40.50


  8. Hi Kim,
    Would you be interested in trying to grow some at the Burnham’s Field Community Garden? I’d love to give it is try. Should we be doing Marsh or Common there?
    I’d also like to get a pack of pink and purple aster seeds.
    Thank you,
    Melissa Cox


    1. Melissa that is fantastic and I would love to help!!!!!!

      Both species would be ideal there. The Marsh Milkweed is great to plant within a flower border; the Common Milkweed does best when given an area of its own. Do you have enough space for both?


      1. I think we could find some space in the field. We should do a walk about soon at the field to see what you think would be best!
        I’d like to talk to you about some other business also, so I look forward to seeing you soon.


  9. Hi Kim, I have a small garden but will give it a try.
    1 Packet Common Milkweed  3.50
    1 Packet Pink New England Aster 3.50
    1 Purple New England Aster Seed Packet  3.50
    Total $10.50
    Thank you,
    Lenny Burgess


  10. Hi Kim, I have a bag full of common milkweed seeds collected last fall. Can you guide me as to when they should be planted?


  11. Kenneth Leonards
    1 packet common milkweed ($3.50); 1 oz Marsh milkweed ($15.00); 1 packet pink Aster ($3.50); 1 packet purple Aster ($3.50)


    1. Hi Kenneth,

      We received your order but also need your email address and it is not showing in the comments dashboard. If you do not feel comfortable including in the post, can you please send your email address to mine at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you! I need the email addresses to send reminders.


  12. Hi Kim
    I would like to place 2 orders, one for myself and one for my sister-in-law.
    first order
    Jennifer Anderson
    1 Packet Common Milkweed 3.50
    1 Packet Marsh Milkweed 3.50
    1 Packet of each Pink and purple New England Aster @ 3.50 ea. = 7.00
    My order total: $14.00

    Second order
    Sonia Goulart
    1 Packet Common Milkweed 3.50
    1 Packet of each Pink and purple New England Aster @ 3.50 ea. = 7.00
    My order total: $10.50


  13. I would like to order:
    1 seed packet of Marsh Milkweed. $3.50
    1 seed packet of Common Milkweed. $3.50
    1 seed packet of Pink New England Aster $3.50
    1 seed packet of Purple New England Aster 3.50
    Total: $14.00


  14. Dear kim,
    If it is not too late, I would like;
    1 seed packet of marsh milkweed $3.50
    1 seed packet of common milkweed $3.50
    1 seed packet of pink N.E. aster $3.50
    1 seed packet of purple N.E. aster $3.50
    total: $14.0
    Thank you for your Monarch butterfly information and this wonderful project!


  15. Hi Rita, Vickie, and Marie,

    No, not too late and thank you so much! I am extending the window one more day–so swamped today I won’t get to placing the order until Tuesday.


  16. Hello, Kim,
    I would like to order the small packet of each milkweed, marsh & common, and one each of the pink and purple asters, so 4 total 3.50 each , 14.00
    thanks so much! Sara Collins


  17. Hi there: If it’s not too late, I’d like 1 oz of the Marsh Milkweed plus one packet of the purple Asters — that comes to $18.50, I believe. THANKS! Lesley Davison


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