En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 26, 2008

From: Lakeland, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Asclepias with whitish discoloration
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have red/scarlett milkweed planted in my yard. The leaves have a whitish discoloration on the top of some of the leaves and it is spreading. What is it? What do I do about it?

ANSWER:

We first wanted to establish what a red/scarlet milkweed is, and found these two species of Asclepias in our Native Plant Database. Both are native to North America and Florida and, therefore, fall into our field of interests at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Asclepias lanceolata (fewflower milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

It's possible you have a cultivar, or cultivated variety, of hybridized milkweeds, but they would probably be prone to the same pests and diseases. So, next, since no immediate answer to your question springs to our mind, we need to go looking for what might be causing the discoloration. We will find websites with pictures of some of the possibilities, and you can compare them with your plants. Then, if you find what you think is the pest involved, the website should have suggested treatments.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Mealybugs. These are tiny white fluffy insects.

University of Florida Extension, Scale Insects and Mealybugs on Ornamental Plants.

University of California Integrated Pest Management, Pests in Gardens and Landscapes - Aphids.

Colorado State University Extension, Spider Mites.

University of Minnesota Extension, Southern Blight - Sclerotium rolfsii

Generally, Asclepias species are considered fairly pest-free. If none of the above possibilities seem to match the symptoms on your plants, contact the University of Florida Polk County Extension Office - Lawn and Garden. They should have more localized information on newly discovered pests and the control for them.


Asclepias lanceolata

Asclepias lanceolata

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

 

 

 

 

 

More Pests Questions

Something eating leaves of Eastern Redbud in San Antonio
May 27, 2010 - I know you had this question a few years back but no answer. Something is eating the leaves of my Redbud (Eastern, I think. There are varying sizes of bites, but most leaves stripped, some to stem. Pl...
view the full question and answer

Control of grasshoppers from Goldthwaite TX
July 07, 2012 - How long do grasshoppers live. They are eating our flowers, plants and trees.
view the full question and answer

Protection of Mountain Laurel from Pyralid or Genista moth caterpillars
May 28, 2006 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel. Every year it is attacked by caterpillars. They form a bag for lack of a better word on the ends of the branches destroying the blooms for the following year. PLEASE...
view the full question and answer

Insect infestation, identification and treatment
April 21, 2008 - help! I have an infestation of small flies in my flower/vegetable beds. They seem to be eating the leaves of just about everything. I've tried to find out exactly what they are, but haven't had any ...
view the full question and answer

Killing oak sprouts from El Paso TX
August 16, 2011 - I want to know how to kill oak root sprouts and seedlings. Very dense and out-of-control in huge area of front lawn. I had tree cut down and I still cannot get rid of them. They're only getting wors...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center