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Swamp Milkweed yellowing :(

Posted by ayimera NoVA (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 11:11

I purchased a swamp milkweed plant (Ice Ballet) a couple weeks ago and planted it in a sunny but wet area of my yard. I have some mean clay in the back that tends to retain water about 3-4 inches down. Ever since I planted it the leaves have started to yellow from the bottom up, picture attached (these fell off just by touching them).

It's been raining a lot in No. VA since the beginning of the week and the yellowing has quickened. Could it be getting... *too* much water? I have a bee balm and BES planted in front of it (a bit drier) that seem to be doing fine. Not sure if I should wait it out, or dig it up and put it somewhere else. Thoughts?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Swamp Milkweed yellowing :(

I live in same location as you and bought same variety of Asclepias incarnata. I can tell you that your plant(s) are just fine. That is transplant shock and it will probably lose a few more. I bought some back in April and it was so cold that they ended up losing all their leaves and have gone dormant for the season...however, they are NOT dead and will come up next Spring. Your milkweed will probably adjust well...may not bloom this year and may not luck very "pretty" but it will be fine!

RE: Swamp Milkweed yellowing :(

Just an update: the yellowing has continued into August. I've started watering a little more and it seems to have slowed but not gone away completely. It has grown very tall (probably at 4 ft right now -- I've had to stake the plant so it doesn't fall over), but after the first initial bloom in June there has been nothing. The stems are bare from the base to about 2 ft, but it still looks pretty green and bushy at the top. It almost looks like a weird little tree at this point with the bottom leaves missing lol.

RE: Swamp Milkweed yellowing :(

  • Posted by cghpnd 7 / N.Virginia (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 19:33

I had the same problem last year. What I was told it was a nutrient deficiency.
I do not remember what I used as a fertilizer... I think fish emulsion and within a week it stopped the yellowing.

RE: Swamp Milkweed yellowing :(

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 19:43

This is partially transplant adjustment and partially the nature of the beast. In the wild, the plants have lost a lot of their lower leaves and are finishing up seed maturation...and then will be just dead twigs.

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