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Scarlet & Yellow Milkweed- Asclepias curassavica – a shrub which is evergreen




Asclepias curassavica is also known as scarlet milkweed or Indian root which belongs to Asclepiadaceae. It is a tropical and tender perennial which can grow up to a height of 3-4 feet (0.6-0.9m). It is a sub shrub which is evergreen and has opposite leaves. It has milky sap. The leaves are elliptical, narrow, pointed at both ends and long and about five inches.
The flowers are terminal and in clusters that are 2-4 in (5.1-10.2 cm) across. The flowers are orange and red in color and bloom from spring to autumn. The fruits are 3-4 inches in (7.6-10.2 cm) in length and are spindle shaped pods. The seeds have silky parachutes that split open to sprinkle seeds. It is native to South American. It is a weed actually found in tropical and subtropical pastures in Central and Southern Florida.
This plant has additional appendages above corolla that looks like a crown, called corona. This corona is either crimson or orange in color. This plant is used as border plants and in meadow gardens and is attractive with red and orange flowers with dark green back grounded foliage. Hence they can also be used as a cut flower and in dried pods arrangements.
This plant attracts butterflies, nectar-sucking bees and insects. Monarch and queen butterflies lay their eggs too. This plant is a skin irritant. The sap that is milky is poisonous and a skin irritant. The plant is poisonous if ingested. Lady bugs and Aphids are the common predators that come along the plant, just wash them off using a mild dishwashing detergent solution with water to remove them.

Growing conditions of Scarlet Milkweed

• Scarlet milkweed is easy to grow in dry to moist soils.
• This plant needs Full sun to partial shade to grow well.
• Water the plant regularly.
• This plant needs hardiness of zones USDA 8B – 11.
• This plant remains evergreen in zones 9B-11.
• Its Soil pH requirements are 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) and 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral).
• In cooler climates, it can be grown as an annual.
• Scarlet milkweed can be started from cuttings.
• Sow the seeds after Stratification.
• Direct sow the seeds outdoors in fall.
• Once the seedlings arise, Plant them in a spacing of 18-24 in. (45-60 cm).

Care for Scarlet Milkweed

• This plant needs Full sun to partial shade to grow well.
• Water the plant regularly.
• It has Average Water Needs and so Water regularly but do not overwater.
• Aphids attack the leaves, so take care of them.
• Lady bugs are the common predators that come along the plant, just wash them off using a mild dishwashing detergent solution with water.





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