I have a number of butterfly weed transplants that I am trying to sell at a farmer’s market. I’m in central Florida. You have been a tremendous help to me! Last year we encouraged monarchs naturally by growing milkweed outside, but only found three chrysalis in total, experienced LOTS of dead caterpillars, and the milkweed struggled to keep enough foliage for the relentless waves of caterpillars that never seemed to make it all the way through to becoming to a butterfly. Leaves can also look mottled if infested with spider mites: Tony, do you have to use food grade hydrogen peroxide? We are in SoCal with some really hot temps now. Thanks, Terry Greenwell. Hydrogen peroxide also adds more oxygen to the soil to prevent root rot. 4. They have basically “keeled over” on a branch and died. Here’s more info: As for the rest, are you in a region with increased mosquito spraying this season? I noticed I do have some plants with blackish spots and not so nice looking. Instead, good management can be simply cleaning up a plant that has been eaten to the stalk by either rinsing thoroughly, or using a bleach mix of at least 10% bleach to water, or hydrogen peroxide with water at a 50/50 rate. This is because the OE spores have a thick spore wall, and can be lodged in the grooves of the egg chorion where they are protected from bleaching. Replenish their milk?– for fungi similar to blackspot, try this simple rose remedy after removing the affected leaves: note: If you’re spraying sickly milkweed and notice webbing on the plant, you’re probably dealing with microscopic (almost) spider mites and can check out our milkweed pests page for specific treatment options. Spray the plants while they are inside the cage or have cutting containers on a boot tray where you can easily see them if they fall. Rather than fight the flies and hornets, I pluck off all the eggs and instars and raise them inside. H2O2 kills gnat larvae on contact. I’m worried that if it continues happening in the weeks ahead, we may end up with not enough leaves for our monarch caterpillars to munch on. I try to limit my caterpillar shit inhalations as much as possible. Do you have any ideas on this? I seems like the caterpillars also do not like those leaves/plants. I have never hurt a plant by using too much hydrogen peroxide. Do you know if those bacteria based fungicides are safe to use around monarchs? I am learning that the Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) contains a protozan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha that kills off the monarchs and the caterpillars. They all have the problem. I’m just wondering about future eggs/cats. Monarch caterpillars rely on milkweed plants and that’s why female monarchs choose to lay their eggs on milkweed plants. 3. I have also noticed that the leaves on some plants (even in other locations) are very small. Thanks! We easily had over 100 caterpillars but only three butterflies emerge. Thank you. Told me he trusted his vendor and told me he had a few calls with problems with the milkweed. More info here: What is the best way to trim back my milkweed? Hi Ralph, I’ve never heard of anyone doing this, so I would suggest testing a plant. The plants infested with aphids you have to wash off the aphids by hand using water in a squirt bottle. I would focus on adding more pesticide-free milkweed plants to your garden, or there won’t be enough to feed them all. I recommend wearing rubber gloves to keep your hands away from your eyes, and showering immediately thereafter if you are tending a large number of plants. You can also find beetle eggs and remove them while killing aphids. Tony, I’ve been concerned about my milkweed leaves turning purple and dropping off. Hi Andrea, I don’t know much about specific fungus types, but the techniques listed have worked well to prevent and stop the spread of milkweed fungus in our northern garden. of wetting agent (dishwashing liquid will do) Use this mixture as a foliar spray to keep your plants healthy and free from bugs. I use the measurements for sick/fungusy plants…2 cups in a 2 gallon watering can of the 3%. Would aphids cause leaves to turn yellow? Can They get root rot? Little yellow spots have developed on the leaves. Funguses are often the result of too much rain or watering. April 16 at 8:34 pm. When planted a few weeks ago we were in the low 80s. by Patti (Missouri City, Texas, USA) Monarch Eggs. I have a lot of yellow and black spotted leaves. Plant diseases shouldn’t affect caterpillars, but if you have access to healthier milkweed I would use that. I don’t think there is any disease of a milkweed plant that will kill caterpillars. I don’t know where to turn to an answer. Things here are in a mess. Hi Kurt, I always cut off problem leaves and sections of the plant if necessary…I would also check to see if you have spider mites by spraying a leaf to see if you can webbing. I waited a bit and bought two more plants from a different nursery and tried again. Any suggestions? I don’t think h202 would hurt them, but I’ve never sprayed it directly on them. When you purchase new plants, it’s best to place them in a shadier area and gradually exposing them to more sun. I checked for spiders/mites etc but can’t seem to figure out what has happened. When picking by hand, some people wear gloves. Spray well, and rinse well. I would post your photo in a facebook group like this: My swamp milkweed plants has reddish/purple edges on some of the leaves. The plants are only about 2′ tall and bloom pods are just beginning to appear. Or is it not getting enough sun? Thoroughly inspect your milkweed, rescue any eggs or caterpillars, and move them onto an uninfected plant, or to a protected location, like a netted butterfly pavilion. Monarch Caterpillars....Beware the Paper Wasp. nope…just the 3% commonly found in stores. However the plant could be harboring butterfly disease spores left there by diseased butterflies landing on it (including the mom butterfly). If there are too many on a plant, do they try to go elsewhere? Is there a way to send you an electronic picture. 3) Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Kill Fungus Gnats. It looks like tiny black / brown dots all over the underside and almost like bruised or wet spots on the top side. I’m not sure what causes it, but it’s never been a serious problem. or is this something that is naturally occurring in the plant? what about residue remaining on leaves that they may eat? Hi Todd, This hunter is a Predatory Stink Bug nymph in the subfamily Asopinae. hi Kat, if your plants are getting too much direct sun too quickly the leaves can burn. I live in central Florida. I would not spray with the solution if any caterpillars are on the affected plants but rather remove them, then spray. Thanks. Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators, Are you dealing with milkweed fungus, leaf spot, and other issues not caused by annoying milkweed pests? I have never heard of these leaves potentially hurting caterpillars, but I’ve never found any caterpillars on those leaves either. Milkweed is pretty resilient. I want to get ahead of the fungus this year because last year I was far behind. All it takes is about five to ten caterpillars to demolish your plant. When it make sense, prune away entire sections of the plant. Do you know how often I can spray? I live in Fla and have what looks like white barnacles growing on my milkweed. Of course it could be the incoming monarchs and their eggs but to me that just doesn’t seem right. Hi Chris, I use it preventatively. Anyhow, all plants come back just fine the next season…. Thanks for any advise. Is this from too much shade or what? Hi! Did you soak the dirt or just spray on top of it? check out this post to learn more about monarch predators and what you can do to save more monarchs: Hi Tony, is it safe to spray milkweed with a baking soda mixture or would it be harmful to cats. I have a lot of milkweed- probably 15 different patches throughout my yard. Remove sick leaves–  Whenever you come across sickly milkweed leaves, remove and discard. Hi Sara, this happens to milkweed in mid-late summer…most often on swamp milkweed. If the fungus is really bad, i’m not sure what option you have besides cutting back plants. What is it. 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