Although I do not notice if it has grown. I appreciate your knowledge and passion for the Monarch and friendly host plants! If the milkweed was their cue for leaving, they’d be leaving much later. Hi Deborah, it’s too late for monarch eggs this season. I really didn’t expect this good of a germination rate. And it doesn’t usually come back until early April or later unless I have cuttings in the greenhouse. Hi Sharon, please read this post for more info: Is Tropical Milkweed Killing Monarch Butterflies? A. Incarnata, Balloon Plant MW, a. Viridiflora, A. . Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators, Asclepias curassavica: Tropical milkweed, Mexican milkweed, Scarlet milkweed, Bloodflower, Swallow-wort, Silkweed, This milkweed also attracts eastern tiger swallowtails, giant swallowtails, hummingbirds, painted ladies, pipevine swallowtails, queens, wasps, and more…(If you know other pollinators tropical milkweed attracts, please comment below. However, if you regularly monitor your garden, having single plants is fine. Sane question for them. Hi Bob, in continuous growing regions it’s good to cut back a couple times a year to avoid the build up of OE spores that can potentially harm monarchs. Can you tell I’m impatient for it to start growing? Do not spray any chemicals to kill them. There are 21 native milkweed species in Florida and eight native species in south Florida (see sidebar). Unfortunately, this well-intentioned effort to restore habitat may actually be contributing to the decline of the Monarch population. Organizations engaged on conservation of monarch butterflies as well as conservation in general list only native milkweeds. , I just read that tropical milkweed could be a detriment to Monarchs and that native milkweed is the best. For me, they’ve flowered all year long. I am curious about the Silky Gold Milkweed. They are not being eaten. Just sounds fun gets real big im in minnesota and have lots of room im my butterfly garden. [7] Though public concern for the rapidly declining monarch population increased the demand and commercial availability of milkweed among nurseries in the USA, the results have been mixed. Today, several clumps of milkweed shot up out of the ground where I grew last year’s “tropical milkweed”, so it’s obviously not tropical milkweed(I live in zone 5). Good luck! So, I will cut them back when they leave in November. Research was published in January 2015 detailing how Asclepias curassavica adversely affects monarchs in the southern US. Last year I raised and released 135 Monarch with a 100% success rate. I live in Southern California and I am in my third year with a monarch garden. I live in zone 8a and have more monarchs every year in Oct., though not as many as some who have posted. Hi Linda, we don’t typically get deer in our garden but they have been more interested in swamp and purple milkweed in the past. The soil is damp so I thing there is enough water. Also I planted asclepias tuberosa. I use a very generic flowering plant food, apply sparingly, and water a couple of times a week now that the temp is getting warmer. I cut one back and potted it and will see if anything different happens in year 2. I was just given a Asclepius Curassavica Silky Gold Milkweed (I live in Phoenix, Arizona) and as I was preparing my planting area (in the ground) to place it in to, I discovered grub worms (Grrrr!). Thank you, Hi Helen, tropical milkweed is a tender perennial in your region, so you might want to leaf mulch in late fall to give the roots some extra protection. Just not growing on live stems. Alternatively, native milkweed species are suggested for butterfly gardens.[10]. Now I feel maybe I should return some beautiful plants I just bought at Lowes. We have 5 milkweed plants in containers. I can’t have really large containers on the roof because of their weight. I have 53 eggs. This article was useful in telling me what to expect from it and how to propagate it. This gives you a huge head start on the season. However, you can also dip cuttings in rooting hormone powder and plant them in soil: I love this site Tony! The October rain we had made it lean over into the walkway when it was heavy with water. I have never heard complaints of this, so I’m guessing it’s not a common issue. This past summer I stumbled upon this new, variegated milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) called ‘Monarch Promise’. congrats on your new seedlings! Keep in mind, many predators have adapted to the poisonous chemicals in milkweed, so it doesn’t keep them as safe as many people think….this is all milkweed both native and non-native. My Currasavicas are growing, it took like 12 days for them to germinate. I’m so excited! Here’s more info: Grow Tropical Milkweed from Cuttings For your planting- Tropical milkweed can be planted in full to partial sun in well-drained soil. I can’t seem to find much information on planting the Silky Gold in containers and I hope you have some experience/answers for me. I recently had about 30 caterpillars who were quickly running out of food. They don’t migrate, or migrate only small distances here. Seeds have over 90% germination rate when kept around 75 degrees. It’s still plenty warm sometimes up till October. good luck with your plant! and had a drop in temp one night to 28 and we had a strong wind which could have been a factor also. Should I plant near the Tropical? This year the plants are tall and look healthy, but they are not blooming at all. Hi John, monarch caterpillars love munching on tropical milkweed. Chris, this article is based largely on speculation with little science to back it up. This is a call for help to the master of monarch knowledge. A. curassavica be grown in pots or planted directly. Otherwise, just buy some in late winter/early spring. I tried a tropical milkweed plant from seed (started indoors) in part sun a couple years ago. This typically takes between 1-2 months. If left outside the predators always get to the eggs or cats. Here’s more info you should find helpful: Thank you so VERY much Tony!! Asclepias curassavica blooms all summer long and is a magnet to butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators as well as beneficial insects. Jesi, I actually have not heard of this, but it appears to be a variation of curassavica from what I can gather. It is native to South America, but has naturalized worldwide in many tropical and subtropical areas. It’s rather confusing. I’m in SoCal. One positive… I’ve seen five monarch cats successfully mature and leave the milkweed late this summer. Mostly the top of the plant with flowers. Is it already too late? Hi Tony — Long story/explanation, please bear with me! Too many people are focused on the potential negatives of tropical milkweed when there are simple solutions for dealing with some of these problems like cutting back milkweed (to avoid overuse) for those in warm weather regions. In fact, if an OE-infected monarch tries to migrate, it will probably die long before it arrives in central Mexico, Satterfield says. Gorgeous variegated milkweed part of the Hort Couture line Attracts and feeds monarchs with bright red and orange flowers that are like candy for pollinators! It’s a good idea to gradually introduce plants to full sun by keeping them in shadier parts of the yard first. What would you advise? Hello Tony. While tropical milkweed may effectively sustain monarch larvae, the perennial growth of the plant takes ill effect on the monarchs' migratory patterns and may have other physiological effects. How much should one cut. I’ve sprayed with Neem oil extract to fight any insect or fungus attack, and it seems to have slowed the yellowing. We just planted a California Native garden in March with lots of milkweed. good luck! They spread by underground crawling. Is there something I can do? I know the Monarchs should be doing their migration/roosting thing now and I really need to cut back the MW, but I need it to feed my indoor & outdoor cats. Resident monarchs and many other tropical species feed on them and whether they get OE or not they must have worked that out during the process of coevolution. Love them! My mom and I both got a milkweed plant to grow in a container. Hi Ron, the seeds should still be viable. Cutting back milkweed can have a positive effect on monarch healthy by reducing OE spores and other pathogens. Hi Donna, butterfly houses are for decoration only, but other insects or wildlife might use them. I was wondering if you by any chance have heard of the Carribean Milkweed (Asclepias nivea). If you are fertilizing, I suggest waiting until the seedlings are more established. Hi Jesi, it never hurts to “try” as long as you are able to monitor the progress of your plants. None of them mentions tropical milkweed for very good reasons. It should start putting our new growth. Tropical milkweed is fine in its own habitat. You might try cutting back some of foliage if it’s not improving. You could also try starting some indoors a couple months before your average final frost. You would be better off starting those seeds about 2 months before your average final frost in late winter. I am excited it is Tropical! I have lost 75 percent of the leaves! [12], Asclepias curassavica is described by NatureServe as a "widespread species, ranging from southern North America through Central America and into South America. Could it be too hot? at that time I also cut down the root system if its getting to large for the container. I also find Mexican Torch Sunflowers attract Monarchs, Swallowtails and last til frost for late commers. It is doing great, but I am not seeing any activity with it being used as a host plant. Or should I wait to cut them back later? LOL. My question is similar to the one above: is it too late on February 29th to cut them back? It typically grows as a subshrub to 2-3 tall on upright stems clad with pointed, opposite, lanceolate leaves (to 6 long). Hi Nancy, if you buy tropical milkweed seeds now and store them in a cupboard or drawer over the winter they should be fine for planting next spring. Hi Donna, it’s probably from the full sun…that’s a big adjustment. Leaves are medium green sometimes with white midribs. Tropical milkweed grows back fast. Here in New Zealand we rely almost exclusively on Asclepias fruticosa. Can I use pine needles as mulch for tropical milkweed? This way, there’ll always be. “Packed for 2014” in a drawer. I would suggest that would be a good time to cut back tropical milkweed plants. Any idea why my plants won’t bloom (remember, the first time there were no aphids, but it still never did anything but put out green growth). Now I have happy plants and fat cats. Those two plants DO NOT host the monarch. Enjoy your break! Every day I microwave a cube for about 30-40 seconds. Butterflies typically roost high up in trees. I live in NE FL and would like to plant asclepias tuberosa in addition to some more tropical milkweed. Hi Don, not that I’m aware of, but a few years ago I didn’t think deer ate milkweed…they most certainly do! Hi Lolly, since there are monarchs in your region year round, I would cut back when there is a lull in activity. Will they come back next year or do I need cut them for next spring?? If we have to fake the natural process and cut it back and fool the insects into moving on, that is making some big assumptions: 1) People are willing to do this type of maintenance and the appropriate timing 2) people will know they should be doing this (awareness) and 3) if the plant spreads to other areas, chances are they will not be cut back. Hi Carolyn, tropical is easier to grow in Florida than other native varieties. Flowering occurs nearly year-round. Or should I just leave them alone since they only seem to bother the Milkweed? These seeds were harvested June - November 2020. In your hot climate, it will probably grow better in partial shade (I would try afternoon shade). I’m surprised that you say A. Tuberosa is not a preferred milkweed for Monarchs. Please post back and let us know how your butterfly weed and swamp milkweed work out! It can interfere with the monarch migration and help spread a protozoan parasite that adversely affects monarchs. If I ever have foliage issues on milkweed (which is rare) I remove the affected leaves and make sure I’m not overwatering the plants. But I am unsure where to plant my Silky Gold. Monarchs have their own minds. I feel like I have 3 kids. Large is in his Chrysalis at the moment. Plants move around, they die out, they come back, they die out again. Other milkweed species need cold treatment and based on ur comment and others tropical milkweed does not. If you are planting milkweed for monarchs, they will most likely bypass the plants if there is neem oil on the leaves…. Should they be cutdown in early fall? Thanks for your experience – I have never done this kind of planting before. I should have plenty of plants by March. Can you comment on that? However, instead of spreading hype and trying to alarm people, I wish more people would discuss viable solutions, because they exist! (i.e. Mine have done way better in near full sun. Hi Barbara, the caterpillars on your dill were probably eastern black swallowtails, which are often confused for monarchs. Do you know what it is and how can I fight it? I unsuccessfully started growing Tropical milkweed seed this year with three attempts and the third one finally succeeding. Thank you for sharing your experience! Hi Rick, I’m not familiar with the continuous growth cycle in Houston. I live in California, one mile from the Monarch sanctuary where they also grow Tropical milkweed alongside other natives such as Showy and Narrow Leaf. Plant Natives", "Ocular injuries from plant sap of genera Euphorbia and Dieffenbachia", "Plants Profile for Asclepias curassavica (Bloodflower)", "Flora, fauna and freshwater biota assessment of the Meteor Downs South Project, near Rolleston, Central Queensland", "Chemical investigation of Asclepias curassavica Linn",, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 21:01. Hi Vicki, milkweed seems to thrive in more acidic soil so pine needles should be fine for tropical milkweed, but you might want to mulch one or two first and see how they respond. If you’re talking about curassavica (tropical milkweed) try moving the container into partial shade. (Asclepias Curassavica ). I started seeing Monarch butterflies about two weeks ago. ( As recommended, we cut back or remove the tropical milkweed before the migratory season.) Your plants will take off in the summer heat so you should still have blooms and even seeds at the end of the season. Hi Jan, check out this post: Milkweed diseases. Good luck! .. Hi Arianna, check out this post and the PDF link at the bottom of it too: Tony, I have a Mexican Flame Vine growing in a 20″ pot, and though still young it is looking good. The leaves are turning yellow too. Please help I love it but can’t afford to keep on going to buy more plants when leaves are eaten and gone? We always make sure our bird feeders are full so the squirrels and chipmunks get their fill outside the garden. I’ve tried spraying it with water, to no avail. I’ve been following your blog/site since early spring, but it wasn’t until late August that I discovered beautiful Monarch cats in my backyard. The heart leaf milkweed I have that is supposed to be a native is struggling to grow no way is there enough (one small spindly plant) to support Monarchs, so that goes to show sometimes natives don’t work as it can also depend on the microclimate your garden may be in. Hi Anita, could they be crawling away to form a chrysalis? I spayed again and it seemed to do ok. Now, I’ve seen a monarch everyday laying eggs on it. If you start seeing aphids spot treat them with isopropyl alcohol…either spray them or use a cotton swab: I spray mine with a spray bottle of water and a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Tropical milkweed is very harmful. Showy flowers … It’s watered daily with good drainage. This milkweed also serves as an important food source for developing Monarch larva. Also have seeds of A. Purpurasens and Asperula know both need cold/moist stratification. Can I leave them where they are and they will return, or should I bring some inside? Milkweeds in the genus Asclepias provide the only plant material monarch caterpillars can eat. Is there any pointers on when I should cut back their food source so that I don’t end up negatively impacting monarch migration? My tropical milkweed plant leaves have been totaly consumed by the caterpillars all that remains is a barren stalk. I have moved all the caterpillars I could find to an inside 2 net cages. I have bought a potting mix because not to sure on the quality of the soil in the Garden but still there not germinating well. In case it’s helpful, I want to let you know that my milkweed was overrun by aphids despite our best efforts to safely remove them (i.e. I think I have a pretty good head start on things ,, my seedlings are almost two inches on their third set of leafs ,, time to transplant … good luck ! It is from the native in the south and the monarchs love it. Always buy milkweed by the botanical name to avoid confusion with misuse of common names. They always leave in November, even though I do not have the native milkweed. here in new jersey it’s time to take cuttings and i don’t want to miss the opportunity. Care of Asclepias Curassavica Tropical milkweed is a perennial only in zones 8-11. Asclepias, Variegated Tropical Milkweed, Bloodflower, Butterfly Weed, Mexican Milkweed, Scarlet Milk 'Monarch Promise' Asclepias curassavica And under the circumstances of lost leaves, a pretty good milkweed bug infestation, some aphids and the time of year, if I should just go ahead and cut them back to about 12″ off the ground? The most visited nectar plant in my yard after the tropical milkweed is the Mexican flame vine, it is heavy with blooms on this last day of October. Purpurascens and Asperula have bloom periods and I’m not sure how growing them all winter would affect that. It’s cooled off a bit, but still in the 70s, and I see occasional butterflies still flitting about and plants are still sprouting new leaves. I live on the north shore of Lake Travis. How do I do it? I live in Central Florida and it is March 1st now. I live in North Texas, 35 miles northeast of Dallas. Received some A. Curassavica seeds and have 3 seedlings coming undergrowth light in the basement so excited, each day its seems one more pops up planted 15 seeds and using my tiny warmer as well. I have a few that still need homes. Great site, lots of information! I got my seeds from a monarch-saving organization that was advertising free seeds. Planting Asclepias curassavica in nonnative regions therefore remains controversial and criticized. Thank you any information you can provide. It compiments the White Oleander and purple Mexican Petunias in my shrub beds so well. Many of the issues that divide our community happen when theories are presented as facts. The people that refuse to discuss those solutions aren’t doing the public, or the monarchs any favors. If you have room, you might also consider growing more milkweed. I have tried spraying with liquid Seven, and one of the Bayer systemics, but both killed the cuttings as well as the aphids. Hi I was reading about tropical milkweed and was advised not to plant tropical milkweed because it does not die back in the winter (in the south) and it is increasing the infection rate of OE to the Monarchs? Many sources state that tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is preferred by Monarch caterpillars due to its tender leaves. Unfortunately we have only three varieties of native milkweed and they are not garden friendly except tuberosa. My first large female arrived on Tuesday. Zebra Longwing, Gulf Fritillary, Cloudless Sulphur. For obvious stage reasons. I just bought these seeds and I’m planning on planting them in Puerto Rico. Here are some common monarch health issues: Tropical milkweed actually has higher cardenolide levels than native milkweed, so it helps to protect monarchs. I just bought some Asclepias Milkweed off the discount rack, they have blooms but look skimpy on the stems though they are tall, not much foliage on them. I was amazed by the foliage alone and these photos (all mine) show just the start of the vivid summer blossoms. They are planted in a large water trough with other blooming flowers which are drawing bees/wasps, etc. Scarlet milkweed with a Monarch caterpillar and large milkweed bugs, "Comprehensive Report Species – Asclepias curassavica", "Synonyms of Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)", "Common Names for Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)", "ITIS Standard Report Page: Asclepias curassavica", "Asclepias curassavica in Flora of China", "Citizen Science Observations of Monarch Butterfly Overwintering in the Southern United States", "Exposure to Non-Native Tropical Milkweed Promotes Reproductive Development in Migratory Monarch Butterflies", "Gardening to Help Monarch Butterflies? Any suggestions? I want it to flourish. I’m very new to this and I spend all my money on plants and paying a man to put them in the ground or in pots. There is a spot light that comes on automaticslly after it goes dark is this something that can affect the germination. I read conflicting opinions on whether or not A. curassavica is likely to reseed and become an invasive in northern areas. I live in Houston and have been raising Monarchs for a couple of years now. My tropical milkweed has not started regrowth yet. You could even try putting out “winter sowing” containers in spring since the curassavica seeds don’t need cold moist stratification. It is important to plant only Milkweed species that are native to your area. Here some info that might help for future monarchs: I have a container garden on my garage roof in San Francisco, CA. Your response should be to remove it and quit promoting the use of it unless it’s proven to not harm butterflies. Soon after transplanting, we both saw aphid armies all over the plants. Asclepias curassavica milkweed has several common names including Tropical Milkweed, Bloodflower, Scarlett Milkweed, and Mexican butterfly weed. Can I still cold stratify and then harden off for outdoor planting? I ‘spring sowed’ ours in Minnesota and had a high germination rate: I have approximately 30 milkweed plants in my garden in FL. Nice and leafy with tons of blooms. Monarch caterpillars eat 20 large leaves from egg to chrysalis. I bought this plant at Amazon and when it came it looks healthy. Aphids do not deter monarch caterpillars. I am still fairly confused by the life cycle of the monarch. Even the leaves will show heat stress while the soil is still wet. The information tag that came with it, lists it as Butterfly Weed. If not, how far down do I cut them and still give them some leaves. If you don’t want seeds, just cut off the seed pods prematurely or you can tie organza bags around a few seed pods if you want to save a few seeds…good luck! 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