Why Does My Milkweed Die?
There are many reasons why your milkweed dies. Some of them include:
1) Over watering or over fertilization.
If you do not water your plants regularly, they will become stunted and will eventually wither away completely. You can avoid this problem if you keep the soil evenly moist all year round. Also, make sure that there is enough sunlight for your plant to thrive and produce flowers every season.
2) Too much sun exposure.
Many people think that their milkweed grows well under direct sunlight, but this is not true. Sunlight causes photosynthesis which results in the production of oxygen and energy for your plant. However, too much light can cause leaf burn and other damage to your plant’s leaves. Make sure that you don’t expose your plants to excessive amounts of bright lights during the day time.
3) Lack of humidity.
Humidity levels should never fall below 40%. This prevents mold from growing and rotting your plant. Keep the air around your plants clean at all times so that no harmful bacteria gets into the air.
4) Low pH level.
A low pH level can also affect your milkweed. High acidity levels can cause brown spots on your leaves and yellowing of your leaves. You can easily correct this problem by using some diluted lemon juice. After spraying the diluted liquid on your leaves, wait for about half an hour before you water your plants again.
Why Do Milkweeds Not Bloom?
There are several reasons why milkweeds do not bloom. Some of the most common causes of this problem include:
1) Low light exposure.
The flowers of a milkweed plant require sunlight in order to bloom properly. If you do not place your plant in a location where it can receive enough sunlight, the flowers will not bloom and grow properly.
2) Lack of water.
As with most plants, milkweeds also require a sufficient amount of water in order to bloom. If you do not water your plant regularly, it will start showing signs of wilting after a few days.
3) Lack of nutrients.
All plants need nutrients in order to grow properly. If a milkweed does not get enough nutrients, it will not be able to bloom. You can avoid this problem by making sure that the soil is rich with nutrients all the time.
4) Very hot temperatures.
Hot temperatures can prevent milkweed from blooming. During the months of April, May and June, make sure that the temperature does not rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).
5) Lack of humidity.
Humidity levels should be around 40%. If the air becomes extremely dry, your milkweed won’t bloom. Using a humidifier in your growing room can fix this problem.
6) Too much nitrogen.
A lot of nitrogen in the soil can prevent milkweed from blooming. Avoid using chemical fertilizers that have high nitrogen content as these can cause nitrogen burn.
Where To Buy Milkweed Plants?
Buying milkweed plants can be a bit of a challenge, since not all nurseries sell this particular variety of flower. If you are having trouble finding a place that sells milkweeds, try looking online. Here are some online resources that you can use:
1) eBay – eBay is a good place to find different kinds of flowers for your garden.
Simply type in “milkweed” in the search bar and see which plants show up.
2) Amazon Plants and Seeds – Amazon has a large selection of different kinds of seeds and plants.
Simply visit their website and type in “milkweed” in the search bar to bring up all the different milkweed plants that they have in stock.
3) Native Roots – This is a company dedicated to selling plants, flowers, grasses and wildflowers native to North America.
Visit their website to look up different kinds of milkweeds that they sell.
4) Other Nurseries – If you are unable to find a place that sells milkweed plants, simply ask other local nurseries if they can provide you with some.
Most nurseries should have no problem doing so.
Once you get your milkweed plant, keep it in a cool and dark place (but still visible) until it becomes bigger and ready to be planted in your garden.
Where To Plant Milkweed?
You can plant milkweed almost anywhere in your garden or yard, as long as you follow some ground preparation first. Here are the things that you need to do:
1) Pick a sunny location.
Milkweed requires a lot of sunlight to bloom properly, so pick a location that gets a lot of sunlight all day. The more sun your milkweed gets, the more flowers it will bloom.
2) If the location is covered in grass, you will need to get rid of it first before planting your milkweed.
3) If the location is covered in soil or dirt, it would be best if you get rid of it and just plant the milkweed on the existing floor (if possible).
This is because milkweed requires a lot of air to grow properly. If you bury it under soil, it will most likely rot and die pretty quickly.
4) Once you pick your spot, clear it first by removing all the grass and soil.
5) Add a layer of compost on the floor.
Compost is very nutrient-rich soil that contains decomposed plants, manure and other organic waste. This will give your milkweed plenty of nutrients to use as it grows.
6) Create a small hole (about 3 inches wide and 6 inches deep) in which you will place your milkweed plant in.
7) Remove the plant from its container or plastic bag and place it carefully in the hole that you created.
8) Cover the roots with soil until the root ball is completely buried.
It is okay to leave the stem part of the plant above the ground. This is what flowers will eventually grow from.
9) Water it well after planting.
Once this is done, your milkweed is ready to be planted. The next step is to give it some protection.
How To Protect Your Milkweed?
Even if you have planted your milkweed in the best location in the world, it will not guarantee that your plants will thrive. This is because a lot of different animals like to eat this plant, and they will eat all of it before you know it, unless you take precautions to protect it.
The best way to protect your milkweed from being eaten is by placing a fence, net or screen around it. This will keep all the animals away from it, and allow your plants to bloom. However, if you do plan on using a net or screen to protect your plants, make sure that nothing else grows underneath it, as most small creatures can still get through.
You can also use pest repellents to keep animals away from your plants. There are special sprays, granules, and other things that you can put around and on your plants to keep the animals away from it. They taste bad to the animals and most don’t like the taste, so they will stay away. Be careful when using these, however.
Most of these also kill the good insects and butterflies that want to visit your plants as well, so only use them as a last resort.
How To Know If Your Plant Is Sick?
Just like any other living being, your milkweed can get sick from time to time, especially if you are not taking proper care of it. Most of the time, sick plants look different from healthy plants. For example, if your plant’s leaves begin to turn yellow and wilt, this could mean that it is getting sick and doesn’t have enough nutrients. You can fix this by giving it a dose of fertilizer.
Other things that can make your plant sick are animals and insects, as they sometimes like to eat away at your plant. If you see evidence of animals or insects eating away at your plant, then you will have to keep on top of removing them before they do any serious damage.
You can also take a look at the roots of your plant. If you see that they are rotting or decomposing, this could be a sign that your plant is sick and is not getting what it needs in order to thrive.
Solutions To Common Milkweed Problems
Now that you know what to look out for, let’s go over some of the most common problems people have when growing milkweeds, and how to solve them.
My plants are not blooming : There could be a number of reasons for this problem. One of the main reasons could be that the pollinators that your plants need in order to bloom aren’t able to get to them. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do in order to solve this problem.
One of the solutions would be to physically move your plants if you have the ability to do so. There may be something near where you originally planted them that is blocking the pollinators from entering, such as a building or some other obstacle. Another option would be to very temporarily move the plants somewhere else and allow the pollinators to have easier access.
Another solution would be to manually pollinate your plants yourself. This can sometimes be a difficult thing to do, but if you have the time and patience, then it is worth a try.
My plants are leaking white sap : If this problem occurs, you will need to cut away and remove the damaged tissue immediately. This can be a tedious and time-consuming process because you will have to continually check your plants for the disease.
If you notice that your plants are leaking white sap, then they most likely have a fungal infection called ooze. This is a hard problem to solve because it requires a lot of maintenance on your part. One way to do this would be to increase the air flow around your plants and to decrease the humidity. Another way to do this would be to move your plants to a sunnier location.
My plants have discolored spots on them : If your plants get these spots on them, they may or may not be okay. There isn’t much that you can do about these spots aside from continually monitoring them and making sure the problem doesn’t get any worse than it already is.
These spots are usually a sign that something is wrong with your plant’s physiology. It’s kind of like a disease that your plants get. If you don’t know what the cause is, then there isn’t much that you can do other than to continue monitoring your plants and make sure that they aren’t getting any worse. One of the reasons why this could be happening is because you might have a nutrient deficiency in your soil.
My plants have yellowed, browning leaves : If your plants have these kinds of symptoms, then you should immediately start treating the problem because it can quickly get out of hand. You will have to cut away and remove the damaged tissue in order for the problem to not get any worse than it already is.
This problem occurs when your plants are getting too much water or not enough water. Another reason why this could occur is if your plants aren’t in the ideal soil conditions. If you think this is the problem, then you will have to transplant your plant into better soil.
My flowers are dropping off the plant : If your flowers are dropping off of the plant for no apparent reason, then it is probably due to one of two reasons. The first reason being that there is a nutrient deficiency in the plant’s soil. The second reason being that there is simply not enough light for the plant to be able to bloom.
This problem can be fixed if you begin by immediately cutting away and removing all of the damaged tissue from your plant. After you do this, you should make sure that you change out some of the soil with fresh soil. You will also need to make sure that you fertilize the plant a little more than usual. After doing this, monitor your plant to see if the problem persists.
My roots are exposed : If the roots of your plant are exposed, then you will have to take immediate action in order to save your plant’s life. One of the main reasons why this happens is because people tend to rip their plants out of larger containers. This problem can be easily fixed by placing your plant back into a bigger pot and making sure that the roots remain sheltered.
If you have repotted your plant recently, then the problem could be due to you not giving your plant a big enough pot. The last reason why this could occur is because you could have broken the container that you originally planted your plant in. If this is the case, then you will have to carefully replant your plant into a bigger container and make sure that all of the roots are covered with soil.
My plant’s stem is hollow : This problem is a lot more common than you might think. A hollow stem usually means that your plant is underfed. In order to fix this problem, you will have to fertilize your plant a lot more than usual and cut back on watering it. Over time, the stem should fill out.
My leaves are falling off : This problem is another one that is fairly common. Usually, this occurs when you are over or under watering your plant. If this is the case, you should immediately adjust how often you water your plant. Over time, the leaves that have fallen off should begin to regrow.
My roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot : This problem is fairly uncommon, and it is usually easy to tell what the cause of this problem is. This usually occurs when people who over water their plants. In order to fix this, you will have to immediately cut back on watering your plant. Eventually, the roots should retract back into the soil.
My leaves have holes in them : If you begin to notice that your leaves are getting holes eaten into them, then this is a sure sign that you have either insect or snail infestation.
Sources & references used in this article:
Energetic constraints and adaptive significance of the floral display of a forest milkweed by SJ Chaplin, JL Walker – Ecology, 1982 – Wiley Online Library
Resistance and susceptibility of milkweed: competition, root herbivory, and plant genetic variation by AA Agrawal – Ecology, 2004 – Wiley Online Library
Ecology and evolution of reproduction in milkweeds by R Wyatt, SB Broyles – Annual Review of Ecology and …, 1994 – annualreviews.org
Patterns and causes of oviposition in monarch butterflies: implications for milkweed restoration by GM Pitman, DTT Flockhart, DR Norris – Biological Conservation, 2018 – Elsevier
Proximate and ultimate causes of low fruit production in Asclepias exaltata by DC Queller – Oikos, 1985 – JSTOR
Nectar production rates of Asclepias quadrifolia: causes and consequences of individual variation by JM Pleasants, SJ Chaplin – Oecologia, 1983 – Springer
The consequences of self‐pollination in Asclepias exaltata, a self‐incompatible milkweed by SB Broyles, R Wyatt – American Journal of Botany, 1993 – Wiley Online Library
Adaptive design of the floral display in Asclepias syriaca L. by MF Willson, BJ Rathcke – American Midland Naturalist, 1974 – JSTOR