Floppy Milkweed Stems!

susanlynne48(OKC7a)August 14, 2011

Last year, I planted out 2 Asclepias speciosa seedlings, and in early spring a couple came back in the pots I was growing them in, and I planted those out as well.

I planted them in full sun in my front yard, in lean soil (or so I think - I didn't enhance it in any way). They are about 2.5' tall, and the stems are practically lying on the ground. Can't figure out why. Maybe the soil is richer than I thought? Maybe overwatering? I don't water it much at all, though. And, A. speciosa is one that likes more water than some of the other milkweeds.

Any suggestions? Other than that, they look healthy, nice large leaves.


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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

My Asclepias sullivantii is the same way. I've never seen it anywhere else so I have no clue whether this is normal.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 1:08AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)


I have three second year plants of this variety I'm attempting to grow but they're in a hugh pot, not inground. The stems flopped over, too. I wondered if it is because they're grown in a pot. The leaves began to look as bad as those on the common so I cut off the stalk at about 8 inches a few weeks ago. It is putting out new growth from the base and at some of the leave nodes along the 8 inch stem. It isn't renewing itself as quickly as the common but at least the leaves now look like something a mama Monarch might wish to use! :-)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:14AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

It may be that since your plants were grown in pots early on, they weren't able to develop the deep roots that are needed to support the height they achieve in their second year of growth. Then again, some of my plants that were grown from seeds in the ground can flop over. Usually it's the ones that are on the edge of a bed that get "pushed" over by plants growing nearby. I would give them another year in the ground for the roots to develop further.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 6:53PM
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Two of them weren't grown in pots for that long since I planted them the 1st year I grew them from seed, so I don't "think" that is why. I am beginning to think it is just the nature of these plants, and perhaps you are right and they will do better next year. I just wanted to make sure that they weren't doing something unusual for milkweed.

Mary, I don't know that I would keep them in pots since these milkweeds have taproots. On the other hand, I have a Baptisia var. minor that is growing in a 10 gal. pot and seems to be doing fine. Go figure....

KC, I have an A. sullivanti I am going to plant out as soon as the weather is more cooperative.

I also have an A. hirtella that is growing next to the A. speciosa, and it is flopping, too. I have grown A. syriaca in the past, and it did not do this. Hmmmmmm.

Thanks for the input. It is much appreciated.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 9:20PM
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