pruning milkweed?

treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)January 7, 2008

I've got a few milkweed plants that are very leggy...some kind of orange Asclepias, I think. I can't find any photos of an entire plant, so I don't know if this is normal. Should I cut them back at all? If so, is this the right time of year to do that?

They're still flowering, though I've yet to see a monarch on them. Right now they're covered with some exotic looking orange aphids and one lone ladybug.

Tia,

Carol

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tdogmom(9)

Carol,

First of all, those 'exotic' aphids are not exotic at all. :P They are Oleander Aphids and are most fond of Asclepias. Check out my Monarch blog for more info (link below).

I prune my Milkweed all the time. No worries on the pruning, as long as you don't have any Monarchs ovipositing!

BTW: As far as the !@#$% aphids are concerned: I blast 'em off with water.

Here is a link that might be useful: tdogmom's Monarch blog

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Poor ladybug! Predatory insects can't eat these aphids (and they know it, thus the bright yellow color); if they snack on a few, the beneficials will suffer consequences.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:10AM
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kossetx

If the aphids are orange and black they are milk weed bugs and really only attack the seed pods and seeds. This can be good or bad thing depending on how many milkweeds you want. Mine usually disapear after a while.

As far as pruning, I'd wait anout 6 weeks, IMO.

Good luck, MP

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 2:06PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That's a good point! It's very easy to confuse milkweed bug nymphs and oleander aphids. The aphids tend to be more yellow than orange.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 2:57PM
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