Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 05, 2005

From: Santa Fe, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Possibility of over-watering of Asclepias tuberosa
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Another question about butterfly weeds, the leaves on one of my plants are turning a yellow-red color and the blossoms seem to be dying (drying up) before they can bloom. It is right in the same area as the other 2 plants. Is it getting too much water? The other 2 are doing great. Thanks!

ANSWER:

It is hard to say exactly what is going on with your butterfly weed without seeing it. If the affected plant is not right beside the other two that are doing well, it could be that it is getting too much water. Most of the Genus Ascleipias (milkweeds) prefer dry soil. The orange butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) in particular likes dry, well-drained soil. However, if they are all close together and only the one is not doing well, it may be something (a fungus, perhaps) affecting the roots or the crown. Too much watering would encourage fungal growth.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Arizona centaury near Lost Maples from Austin
November 05, 2012 - I found a clump of Arizona centaury growing/blooming beside a road near Lost Maples State Nat. Area in the Texas hill country last week. Centaurium calycosum is the scientific name. I have 2 questio...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on wildflowers in Wisconsin
June 28, 2004 - May I have information on wildflowers in Wisconsin and how to grow them?
view the full question and answer

How will winter weather affect bluebonnets this year?
February 27, 2010 - Just wondering how our winter weather this year will affect the blooming of bluebonnets. When are they expected to be in full bloom and what will be their duration? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Problems with propagation of Indian Paintbrush (Castileja indivisa)
February 07, 2006 - We are growing Indian Paintbrush. I have 2-300 seedlings. They were sown with fescue and have grown beautifully. Now they are approximately 4-6 inches high, a few have bloomed and many seem to be dy...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Yucca Seedlings in Illinois
October 02, 2013 - I have many yucca seedlings I started this year. My question is what do I need to do with them to overwinter here in Northern Illinois and when do I plant them in the ground for best chances of survi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.