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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - March 15, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Planting orange-flowered asclepias in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have asclepias seeds of the orange flower variety and would like to plant them. What should I do for the best success, and how long does it take for them to come up?

ANSWER:

We think you are probably talking about Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed), which is bright orange and grows well in Central Texas. You can follow the plant link to our page on this plant with lots of information on care, size, blooming time, etc. The Propagation Instructions are:

Propagation Material: Seeds , Root Cuttings
Description: The easiest method of propagation is root cuttings. In the fall, cut the taproot into 2-inch sections and plant each section vertically, keeping the area moist.
Seed Collection: Watch plants closely for seedpods in late summer/early fall. Allow seeds to completely mature before collecting seed to establish new plants in another location. A long pod is produced containing hundreds of seeds with tufts of long, silky hairs (an adaptation for wind dispersal).
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Needs to be transplanted carefully and requires good drainage. It takes 2 – 3 years before A. tuberosa produces its vibrant flowers, which appear in 2 – 3 inch clusters of orangish-red. Once established, it lasts for years, becoming thicker each year.

Your butterflies will be so happy!

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Asclepias tuberosa


Asclepias tuberosa


Asclepias tuberosa

 

 

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