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Easy Milkweed Cold Stratification: Cold StratifiWHAT?

This method works for most large prairie seeds.

Milkweed, like many prairie plants needs a time of cold and moisture to make it sprout. This process mimics the conditions of winter. My method of waiting to plant only the sprouted seeds saves you the time and disappointment of planting duds. It’s easy and only takes a few moments. This method can be used for any seed needing cold stratification.

Here We Go!

1. Place seeds on half of damp coffee filter/ paper towel

2. Fold in half

3. Place in plastic bag, then in dark box or container.

4. Store in fridge for minimum 2 weeks* 1 month preferred.

5. Remove bag from fridge, but don’t open

6. Wait three days

7. Check if any seeds are sprouting- Plant those indoors

8. Check every day for newly sprouting seeds and plant them.

9. Wait for baby milkweeds to grow their third set of leaves.

10. Plant outdoors in mid spring, and water well for the first two weeks


Check the recommend cold stratification time for whichever seeds you are starting. Most require 30 days or 60 days.

*the two weeks will work, but leave them in longer if possible.


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