Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - August 19, 2009

From: Fishers, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Deadheading Asclepias tuberosa in Fishers IN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Asclepias tuberosa plants are flowering well in their second year and also have formed many seed pods. Since I don't need the seeds, will they bloom more if I remove them or is it unnecessary?

ANSWER:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) is native to Hamilton, Indiana, right in the middle of the state, according to this USDA Plant Profile. Since it is a nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds and a larval host for Monarch and Queen butterflies, it is well worth keeping in your garden. Almost any plant will try to rebloom if you deadhead it after it begins to wilt. Don't get too eager, though, as long as you feel there might be nectar in there for the flying creatures. Plants need to reproduce to survive and they do that through setting seeds, so if a bloom is taken off before it has a chance to produce seeds then, yes, the plant will likely attempt to bloom again, although that takes quite a bit of energy from the plant. 

WARNING: This plant has poisonous parts; that is, roots and plant sap from all parts. That quality, of course, is good for the caterpillars that will grow up to be butterflies. The poisonous substances don't hurt them, but they sure warn the birds off. 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Need tips for planting wildflower seeds in pots in Edinburg, TX.
July 22, 2012 - Can you give me some tips for starting wildflower seeds in pots or trays, rather than outdoors? Is this even possible? Most instructions I have found are for seeding large areas. I want to get some p...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mustang Grapes
June 15, 2006 - What is the best way to grow mustang grapes? We have vines established over the property but up too high to continue to harvest and a couple of young vines on the ground that haven't reached the clo...
view the full question and answer

Cold stratification of Rudbeckcia maxima from Birdeye AR
August 08, 2013 - How long do I cold stratify Rudbeckia maxima seeds that I wild harvested? Can I put them in the freezer instead of fridge? Do I need to make sure they are completely dry before cold strat?
view the full question and answer

Propagating a magnolia by cuttings in Rochester, NY
May 15, 2009 - How can I start a magnolia snip from my already existing tree, to grow another one from it, like a starter to pass on to someone?
view the full question and answer

Plants purchased at Duke Gardens From Durham NC
April 09, 2013 - I went to the plant sale at a local garden this week and bought some very small plants. I am happy to wait for plants to grow but wondered if I need to do anything special. I live in Durham NC and...
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.