What's destroying my Asclepias Incarnata?

Ruth_MI(z5MI)June 17, 2014

It's not monarch cats, but something is eating or somehow annihilating my swamp milkweed. I'm so discouraged, since I bought at least three good-sized plants last year, then found some growing near a ditch and dug up quite a few more.

I do have seedlings coming up from seeds I sprinkled, and some seedlings that docmom shared too (thanks again!).

One plant that came up wild last year is back and doing OK so far in a different area of the garden, along with one I transplanted there last year.

Any ideas what this could be from or if there's any way to rescue the plants that have parts of their leaves left?

Thanks!

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Leafhead

Looks like a rabbit or a woodchuck. The plant is still viable as long as its root system is intact.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Here's another picture. It's hard to see what's going on, so I'll try to get a better picture too.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Something's leaving small holes in the leaves that eventually destroys/eats the whole leaf.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 2:35PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

You probably have the milkweed stem weevil. I have been battling it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Milkweed Stem Weevil Photos and Info -- Click Here

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:08PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Here's more information:

"Valerie Evanson's Garden
Milkweed Weevils
By far, our largest problem is the milkweed weevil. They destroyed many seedpods (photo 4 and 5), inflicted leaf damage (photos 6 and 8 ) and caused the death of some of my flower buds and stalks (photo 7). An adult (photo 3). I was not sure if the grubs (photo 1) in my seedpods were indeed weevil larvae (photo 2 milkweed nymph). So, I raised some in a container, which is what entomologists recommend. After a few weeks the grubs became weevils. I squish every weevil I can catch and destroy any infected seedpods. This helps save my good seedpods so that I can have some seed for the next year. I have noticed that I find more weevils early in the morning before the sun is hot. After it gets hot, look for shady spots on your plant (photo 9) to find them. Also you can gently dig around the base of the milkweed plants to find them -- they hide in the top 1" of soil/mulch."

Here is a link that might be useful: More pictures and info on the Milkweed stem weevil

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Thanks so much, runmede. Unfortunately the pictures in your first link look exactly like my plants. So, so SO disappointing.

I also bought two types of pink zinnia seeds online this year and paid a grower to start two flats (48 plants each) for me. They're just starting to bloom...with tiny gold and orange flowers that clash horribly with all the pink in my garden. Hope the butterflies like them at least.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:40PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Butterflies love Zinnias. I hope you have many visiting your garden.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:26PM
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linda_tx8(8)

I don't have weevils, but unfortunately I have Swamp Milkweed Beetles right now. They're attacking the native Asclepias texana now. In a really bad year when they come repeatedly, they can actually kill plants if the plants are also stressed by high heat and such. I was just squashing their eggs today and yesterday killed 2 adults. I'm going to order a good telescoping inspection mirror to help me check plants. I'm just too old to bend down and do it the hard way anymore!

Here is a link that might be useful: Swamp Milkweed Beetles

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 3:18PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Hhhmmmm...I'm going to have to take a much closer look. Thanks for the info Linda.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 9:31PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Most of these bugs eat at night. Be careful of snakes. Take a flashlight out and you will find them up eating just before dark.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 9:38PM
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october17(5chgo)

Oh no! I found one of those beetles on my milkweed yesterday. My best year for monarch cats so far and now this beetle. Out I go with some soapy water. Hope that it works.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 7:07AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

The first album that I posted showed weevil and beetle damage. The nymphs of this swamp milkweed beetle do more damage than the adult. You will find them eating 24/7 under the leaves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swamp Milkweed Weevil Info -- Click Here

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 8:20AM
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