Monkey Balls Plant
The name Monkeyball plant is inspired by the decorative, unique 5cm to 6 cm ( 2” to 2.5”) inflated, translucent lime green “hairy” seed pods which are produce in late summer. They provide much amusement dangling from the upper branches of the plant. It is also a very cool cut flower. It is a curiosity plant, with drooping clusters of white flowers, giving way to these hairy pods. Mature plants grown in the ground can reach six feet in height and up to six feet in width but container plants although restricting the size of the plant, make it easy to bring indoors in the winter. Position in full sun or partial shade. Over time (and protected from frost), the plant can develop a thick, woody stem, which tends to dip under the weight of its branches, flowers and fruits, taking the shape of the neck of a swan, that is why it is also called “Swan plant”. Flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars). Sow the seed in the spring to early summer.
How To Grow Your Very Own Monkeyballs Plant
Place the tablet of compressed compost into a cup and fill one-third with warm water. When the tablet is fully saturated it will swell up and it’s then ready to crumble up and put in the pot.
Place the seed in the pot and cover with a little compost. Don’t plant the seeds too deep, because they need plenty of light and warmth to germinate.
Position the pot on a saucer and cover with a clear plastic bag and keep evenly moist and warm until germination, around 21°C (70°F). It will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks.
Remove the plastic bag from the pot when the seedling emerges. Mist the surface of the soil daily with water, keeping the seedlings moist for the first three weeks after they sprout. A spray bottle set to use a fine spray is ideal. Dot not saturate or your seed may rot.
Transfer your seedling to a bigger pot with potting compost when they are large enough to handle. You can lightly fertilize them after the seedling stage, using a regular flower fertilizer, although the plant requires little by way of nutrients but does appreciate regular watering.
Cut off the top of the plant after it reaches 20cm to 30 cm (8”-12″) to create more stalks and more leaves.
Should the plant be kept outdoors, remember to take it inside when temperatures are cooler (below 18°C / 65°F).It is not frost resistant. The plant can be taken out again the following spring.
This Kit Contains:
Asclepias physocarpa seeds
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