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
1 rating

Saturday - October 18, 2008

From: Boynton Beach, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Watering for Scarlett Milkweed in Florida
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Scarlett Milkweed and it was doing very well until this last week. It now has yellow leaves that are falling off and no flowers. It says on the tag that the water is low once it is established. It was given to me and at that time it was only 12" tall, now it's almost 3' feet tall. Was wondering what would be the best way to take care of it? Do I water weekly, bi-weekly? Thank you for your assistance!

ANSWER:

Asclepias currassavica, Scarlet Milkweed, is a native of South America but has become a naturalized weed in tropical and subtropical areas all over the world including Central and South Florida. Since it is a non-native to North America, it falls out of the range of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We only recommend, and grow in our Gardens, plants native to North America and to the area in which they are being grown. This is because, being adapted to the conditions, they will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. And, of course, as in the case of your plant, non-natives can sometimes become invasive and crowd out more desirable native plants.

Although we do not have information on this plant in our Native Plant Database, here is a website from Floridata on Asclepias currassavica that might be a source of the information you need. We suspect that it is approaching the end of its season and starting to drop leaves and cease to flower.  Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed), which is native to Florida, is listed as deciduous, which means it is dropping its leaves, will die back and return in the Spring. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
July 04, 2008 - I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
view the full question and answer

Top soil dressing for bermudagrass
February 25, 2009 - Need to apply top soil dressing to bermudagrass. Can you suggest any type? This area is heavy clay soil and need to even out the lawn as well as feed the grass.
view the full question and answer

Yellow leaves on non-native pittisporum in Wharton TX
March 17, 2009 - Green pittisporum that I planted 2 years ago and 1 year ago are getting a lot of yellow leaves. Variegated pittisporum that I planted at the same 2 times are doing fine.
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of non-native Royal Empress tree
April 23, 2009 - We want to plant some fast-growing trees for shade for my horses. My friend wants to use Royal Empress trees. Can you tell me if these are toxic to horses (and also goats)? I have a lot of clay in t...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native Chinese fringe flower from Austin
June 24, 2013 - When is the best time of year to prune Plum Delight? And how severely can it be cut back?
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