Tropical milkweed flowers


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Yes, it is a pretty flower and lots of pollinators will be attracted to it. All different types of butterflies enjoy the rich nectar, some wasps, hummingbirds. The flowers also attract little round. bright yellow
aphids. Because this plant is both a host plant (for Monarchs and Queens) and a rich source of nectar, i do not spray anything on the leaves or the flowers. Not even soapy water. I hand squish all the aphids unless there are lady beetles on the plant in which case i let them eat the aphids. First flowers are wonderful, but more wonderful is to find little chew marks on the leaves telling you you have little Monarch caterpillars feeding on the plant. The eggs are deposited on the underside of the leaves, usually one or two single eggs per leaf, sometimes you will find an egg on a stem or flower. The eggs are white, congratulations!!!!
 
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I see a few monarchs flying around outside, but I don't see them on the flower itself. I guess I'll have to wait a bit.

I don't spray anything on this plant.
 
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Have you seen them on the leaves of the plant? Very likely they are laying eggs, or scoping out the plant as a place to lay eggs. They are more interested in reproducing than eating. They are very happy to see a host for their babies. They do a kind of happy dance around and up and down the host plant. How many plants do you have? Leave them be for awhile and when the sun is starting to go down and the bflies have left the garden, look for eggs on the underside of the leaves. If there are eggs, they will generally emerge from the egg after 3 days depending on how warm it is, they will eat what is left of the egg and go to sleep for awhile. It could be they are identifying the host, will leave to procreate and return tomorrow to lay the eggs.
 

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What a stunning plant! I have the yellow ones seedlings stage! Yours is simply STUNNING!
 

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But bees do. The first time I saw this flower. I didn't even knew what it was. There were loads of them outside the giant conservatory of the RHS Wisley. They were all smothered with bees. Don't remember seeing a butterfly on them though. I kept taking pics of them because of their vibrant colours.
 
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You bought plants? and did not grow from seed? By "butterflies" do you mean Monarchs? If the Monarchs do not visit them they may have been sprayed by pesticides/insecticides if they were plants when you bought them. Florida has a year around population of Monarchs that do not migrate to Mexico in the winter. If you are talking about butterflies other than Monarchs and only have one blossom and 4 plants, they are probably nectaring on other more mature plants.
 

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I bought seeds Asclepias tuberosa. Actually, a very kind gentleman sent me some orange and pink. The pink ones never germinated. Two of the very few orange ones Asclepias tuberosa germinated and promptly died. I bought from ebay and more or less every single one germinated. I planted some outside and some indoors and hopefully the butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa will have something to show. Love the orange colour. I nearly bought one at £3.50, but at that point, money was tight, money is still very tight, any way!:p;)
 
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I have volunteers popping up in many places of my yard. I guess last year the wind was blowing just right, and I now have a small grove 4' x 6' of them in one of my front beds. I'll have to move them tho. Once the trees finish leafing out so goes enough sunlight in that area.
 

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@LIcenter would love to see yours .. I fell into love with the plant ever since the first time I saw them.. last year on a very hot June day!
 
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@LIcenter would love to see yours .. I fell into love with the plant ever since the first time I saw them.. last year on a very hot June day!
These are not tuberosa as you were talking about. They are tropical milkweed. Asclepias Curassavica I do also have butterfly weed, common milkweed, and swampweed which has pink flowers as shown in my avatar.
 

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Ah, I see. I'm googling RHS to find out more. Thank you.
 
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You bought plants? and did not grow from seed? By "butterflies" do you mean Monarchs? If the Monarchs do not visit them they may have been sprayed by pesticides/insecticides if they were plants when you bought them. Florida has a year around population of Monarchs that do not migrate to Mexico in the winter. If you are talking about butterflies other than Monarchs and only have one blossom and 4 plants, they are probably nectaring on other more mature plants.
Oh excuse me alp, i was directing my question to @CrazyConure relative to his situation at the present time. I should have made that more specific, sorry
 
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These are not tuberosa as you were talking about. They are tropical milkweed. Asclepias Curassavica
Correct, @LIcenter and thanks for clarifying. @alp, the plant that @CrazyConure is showing us and the one that he is growing is Asclepias curassavica commonly called by a number of names actually, but the common name used here is Tropical milkweed. There are many different species of Asclepias that range from the tropics up into Canada as native plants to their specific areas.
 
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I see a few monarchs flying around outside, but I don't see them on the flower itself. I guess I'll have to wait a bit.

I don't spray anything on this plant.
It's very easy to spot the eggs on the underside of the leaves; the eggs are little yellow dots, usually laid somewhere away from the edge of the leaf.

But only 5% survive. Once an egg is laid it's in danger of being consumed by numerous suspects from ants to wasps and everything in between. https://monarchjointventure.org/threats/natural-enemies

Excerpt:

"Monarch eggs and small larvae face considerable dangers of predation, and only about 5% of monarchs reach the last larval instar. Ants, spiders, true bugs, beetles, and lacewing larvae are some known predators of monarch eggs and larvae. In a laboratory experiment, one lacewing larva was observed consuming 40 monarch eggs. Chinese mantids and paper wasps have also been observed preying on immature monarchs. Adults face less danger of being eaten by predators during the breeding season, but there is a much greater risk of being eaten by bird predators in overwintering locations. In Mexico, the black-headed grosbeak, black-backed oriole, and Scott’s oriole are responsible for much of the predation of overwintering monarchs, with some additional predation by mice. In California, Rufous-sided towhees consume adult monarchs in overwintering clusters."


I can't tell you how many times I've seen eggs, but only a handful of times I've found a fully grown caterpillar form into a chrysalis. All you can do is create habitat that promotes diversity. If all you have are plants that are host to monarchs than that's the only source of food you're providing to the predators. I have many different types of host plants that provide tons of habitat for numerous prey.
 
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@roadrunner it is interesting that your Monarch eggs are yellow, mine are white and much larger than a dot. Very curious that.

Also, this is @CrazyConure 's first year of having host plants for Monarchs and the predators take awhile to catch up. I had almost no predators in the first year (10 years ago). Now i make sure that the caterpillars have natural places to hide during the day when they mostly sleep and i have a much higher success rate in bringing caterpillars to full adulthood. The first year, when i hardly knew what i was doing, i had over 125 healthy flying Monarch's eclose in one day. That was quite a feat for my oh so small garden. I got the count by counting the empty chrysalises i found so there were probably more than 125:)
 
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@roadrunner it is interesting that your Monarch eggs are yellow, mine are white and much larger than a dot. Very curious that.

Also, this is @CrazyConure 's first year of having host plants for Monarchs and the predators take awhile to catch up. I had almost no predators in the first year (10 years ago). Now i make sure that the caterpillars have natural places to hide during the day when they mostly sleep and i have a much higher success rate in bringing caterpillars to full adulthood. The first year, when i hardly knew what i was doing, i had over 125 healthy flying Monarch's eclose in one day. That was quite a feat for my oh so small garden. I got the count by counting the empty chrysalises i found so there were probably more than 125:)
I don't mean to make it sound as if it's a deep yellow -- it's not; however, it does have a slight yellow hue, much like the below pics. As for the size of the dot, I didn't mean to make it sound as if they are extremely tiny, they are very easy to spot.

https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+monarch+butterfly+eggs&tbm=isch&imgil=6meLQNv7VVPujM%3A%3ByLuQlrru9asWaM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.learner.org%252Fjnorth%252Ftm%252Fmonarch%252Fegg_butterflies_gallery.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=6meLQNv7VVPujM%3A%2CyLuQlrru9asWaM%2C_&usg=__xKxq9faWVVpH7-sT6qRFHO2qFow=&biw=1600&bih=794&dpr=1&ved=0ahUKEwjKgZu6u4bUAhWC7iYKHX7KCy4QyjcIOw&ei=K2ckWYrAO4LdmwH-lK_wAg#imgrc=3nTtIq0eVNnLkM:

Here are some examples of the predators I have in my yard and they do a number on the caterpillars, not just monarchs, but anything that lays eggs in the numerous other host plants I have. My Live Oak, simply because of its size gets the most visitation from wasps.

I'm not sure how well you can make it out, but the first pic is of a wasp with some type of caterpillar it just caught and the nest below has tons of wasps coming back carrying its "cargo".:D

I'll try and get better pics later.





 

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