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?


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


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?


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

Germination period for Snow Mountain beardtongue (Penstemon purpusii)
March 12, 2008 - Why is the germination period for the Snowmountain Beardtongue so long?. I understand it to be approximately 690 days.
view the full question and answer

Plant called beargrass from Granbury, TX
September 24, 2011 - I am not a native Texan. We have a clump of what my husband (from Big Spring) calls "Bear Grass." It is over to the side of our yard and we have always enjoyed it (moved here in 1982). It blooms ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Hand pollinating watermelon grown indoors in Denver
July 06, 2009 - Hi! I'm growing watermelon indoors and I was wondering if I had to self pollinate it? Their flowers just started blooming! If so, how do I go about doing this? Thank you so much!
view the full question and answer

Seeds for madrone tree in Austin
August 10, 2010 - I want to find or purchase some seeds from the madrone tree. Is there any source or person I can contact to get these seeds?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center