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

Possible webbing bark lice on oak tree
August 08, 2008 - We live near the Center and have a large live oak tree in our yard. Recently the lower trunk has been covered with thin, white weblike material (not sure if spider web). What could this be and is it d...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Live Oak in Boerne TX
April 24, 2011 - I had my large Live Oak trimmed last year. This spring there seems to be a problem with leaf growth. Most leaves are small in nature and appear to have been attacked possibly by bugs. Many of the bran...
view the full question and answer

How are NPIN Deer Resistance Ratings Determined?
May 06, 2014 - If your plant data-base (which is the best thing since sliced bread!) is silent on the degree to which a plant is deer-resistant, does this mean you just don't have enough information to make the cal...
view the full question and answer

Texas Mountain Laurel oozing sap in Spicewood, TX.
July 05, 2012 - We have a Texas mountain laurel that seems to be sweating. Oozing sap with no apparent signs of any type of bore holes, or holes made from any birds.
view the full question and answer

Problems with rusty blackhaw viburnum in Austin
May 07, 2010 - I have a four foot rusty blackhaw viburnum. Last summer the leaves turned reddish and in the late summer most of them fell off. This February the plant started to leaf out and then bloomed. It has ...
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