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
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. 


Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of cardinal flower with variegated leaves from Wakefield RI
August 21, 2013 - I purchased cardinal flower seeds from the Brandywine museum & have had great success for over a decade. Recently I spotted one cardinal flower with variegated leaves. Is this a plant worth propagatin...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Turks Cap, when and how
September 10, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Pants - We have an enormous healthy Turk's Cap - not the lily, but the one with red flowers(Malvaviscus arboreus v. drummondii) It has also produced a new plant nearby. Please tell us how...
view the full question and answer

Looking for seeds or plant of Fendlera wrightii
January 01, 2009 - How I can get a plant or a seed of Fendlera Wrightii, Texas native bush.
view the full question and answer

Sapindus drummondii or Rhus aromatica for Austria
May 07, 2006 - Hy! I'm from Austria/Europe, and interested in some North American native plants specially. It would be great if you can help me with my two questions: Sapindus drummondii I read from different...
view the full question and answer

Making cuttings from purple sage in Austin, TX.
May 15, 2012 - I would like to plant additional purple sage for landscaping. May I do this with cuttings from an existing adult plant? If so, how and when would be the best method? I live in Lago Vista, TX
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