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

Invasive mandevilla from Chula Vista CA
December 10, 2012 - How can I rid my yard of mandevilla that has invaded from my neighbor's yard?
view the full question and answer

Tall plant with bell-shaped upside-down white flowers
July 18, 2014 - 2 tall plants grew outside my suburban New York house in June, blossomed late June. They looked like giant asparagus stalks, and the flowers were white, bell shaped, upside down, look like fairy skirt...
view the full question and answer

Alternatives for non-native, invasive Dianthus spp.
July 02, 2006 - We're landscaping our 1963 ranch house in Austin, and we're trying to balance low water and wildscape concerns. Being just across the street from Shoal Creek means we're staying away from anything ...
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Euphorbia milii from Marble Falls, TX
December 02, 2009 - What is the hardiness of euphorbia mili, crown-of-thorns?
view the full question and answer

Looking for non-native angled luffa, Luffa acutangula, seeds
March 15, 2009 - looking for angled luffa seeds in austin txThank you,your web site advertises luffa as an exception i get the run around about luffas ever where i go on the net why does evrybody advertise luffa but...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center