Milkweed plant insight needed

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Hello fellow pond and fish and plant keepers. Is this normal for a swamp milkweed. It's about 4 foot tall but it has lost alot of its bottom leaves.
 

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@Mmathis thank you. They were like this last year too but sadly got destroyed by aphids. It's just so wierd that it does this.
 

Mmathis

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@Douglas I am between ponds right now (following a move), but I had mine planted in my small turtle-bog. I tried for maybe 3 seasons, but mine never did anything except grow ridiculously tall and leggy....and attract those orange aphids! I finally gave up on them. I’ll have to go back and find my old threads where I asked for advice. I don’t recall what the general consensus was.
 

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Unsure. They'll often lose some bottom leaves (most plants do), but you have lost a lot. I just had something similar happen to one of my my Butterflyweed plants. I looked out one day and a lot of leaves were gone. No caterpillars to be found, so they didn't do it. Your plant looks healthy otherwise.
 
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@Mmathis I'm finding that mine are doing the same. Kind of growing long and lanky. I have to stake it or else it will bend over to floor.

@JBtheExplorer that's odd. Mine turn yellow and it falls off day by day. If you do not see leaves near by then I would guess a big catipillar. You'd be amazed at how well the camouflage.

I had such high Hope's for it this year. Hoping it would flower but at this rate that might not happen. In addition I'm sure the pond water has a good level of nitrogen, and I remeber reading that high nitrogen levels may encourage the plant to grow rather than bloom.
 

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You'd be amazed at how well the camouflage.



They can't escape me! I monitor my milkweeds for caterpillars and eggs frequently. Surprisingly, I've had very few this year. Worried that means the numbers are going to fall. Happily, I had about five flying around my pond today. They were really active. Chasing away hummingbirds and sparrows, and each other. It was fun to watch! They get addicted to my Meadow Blazing Star and Mexican Sunflowers.
 

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The aphids destroyed most of my native milkweed and the tussock moths ate what the aphids didn't get. Swamp and tropical milkweed just starting to bloom now but not a lot of monarchs around.
 

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@JBtheExplorer Not to hijack this thread, but do you have a preference when it comes to the various varieties of milkweed? My experience with “swamp” milkweed was a bust. I recently bought something from Home Depot that was listed as “butterfly weed,” so assume that it is A. tuberosa. Is that one what they call “tropical?” And then there is “common” milkweed.
 

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@JBtheExplorer Not to hijack this thread, but do you have a preference when it comes to the various varieties of milkweed? My experience with “swamp” milkweed was a bust. I recently bought something from Home Depot that was listed as “butterfly weed,” so assume that it is A. tuberosa. Is that one what they call “tropical?” And then there is “common” milkweed.

In the garden center world, "butterfly weed" is used for multiple plants, some not even in the milkweed family.
To native gardeners, butterflyweed refers to Asclepias tuberosa, the orange-blooming perennial, native to a large part of the U.S.
Tropical milkweed is Asclepias curassivica, an annual that is not native. It has orange and red flowers. Garden centers do commonly refer to this plant as butterfly weed.


I don't have a preference, but butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) is the specie that started my native gardening journey, and I do love the orange color. I also tend to get the most caterpillars on it. I've had some disappear, but others come back strong year after year.
 

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The aphids destroyed most of my native milkweed and the tussock moths ate what the aphids didn't get. Swamp and tropical milkweed just starting to bloom now but not a lot of monarchs around.

Just remember, aphids and tussock moths rely on milkweed just the same as monarchs. Milkweed is necessary for a wide variety of species.

I love the tussock caterpillars. I bet they're fantastic painters.
IMG_3374 copy.jpg
 
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Should I chop off my milkweed? I think its losing battle to an infestation of red spider mites. I've been applying watery home made solutions to it. And it keeps the mites population down but doesn't eliminate them.
 

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