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

Looking for yellow bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) and native substitutes
February 14, 2008 - I have been looking for years for a yellow bottle bush. It is identical to the red but is yellow. there are several varieties, but the one i want is just like the red one in appearance. I live in Flor...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Red Rock TX
April 19, 2010 - I have 4 beautiful large sago palms in my rural Texas yard. All 4 have been damaged by several hard freezes this winter. All fronds are brown, with a little green at base of inner fronds. Are they ...
view the full question and answer

Frost damage to Mexican palm and non-native Sago palm in Austin
February 01, 2010 - I have frost damage to the leaves on my mexican palm tree which is about 12 feet high. Can I cut back all of the damaged leaves and what month? Also, Sago palms have some frost damage on the upper...
view the full question and answer

Loss of leaves from globe willows in Utah
July 26, 2008 - I have four globe willows that have been in my back yard for the past 6 years. For the past month they have been losing their leaves from the bottom up. We had aphids in some of our other trees and ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native invasive Asian jasmine in Temple TX
February 06, 2010 - Hello, behind my backyard fence there is a large growth (about 300 to 400 sq feet) of Asian jasmine. It was planted by previous owners. It prevents growth of native plants like holly. What is the prac...
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