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Saturday, July 17, 2010

My pink milkweed has purple and yellow leaves!

I saw these weird purple leaves on my milkweed (asclepias incarnata) this morning. I wonder if its a result of a potassium inbalance in the soil... Not all the leaves look like this. Some appear completley normal. This group of milkweed is planted in mostly sun with a bit of high bright afternoon shade in a spot that would be bone dry if it weren't for my soaker hoses. I have very few spots that are both moist and sunny in my garden. They haven't bloomed yet but I know (hope!) they will since they do every summer.

The bottom right leaf looks like it's been attacked by leaf miners but I'm not sure what's wrong with the leaf to the left. Any ideas??


  1. Leaf scorch and spider mites, would be my guess. Try lifting up the leaves and blasting the backsides and see if that takes care of the spotting. I'm about 85% sure the top picture is leaf scorch. Okay 80%.

  2. I'll definitely give blasting them with a hose a try. I thought leaf scorch was kind of brownish instead of purplish but considering we had a week of 100+ temps, I'm not ruling anything out!

  3. I'd search asters yellow and make sure your other susceptible plants have normal looking flowers and leaves. I just found numerous infected plants in my garden, (in MN) and it sounds like w climate change the leaf hopper that spreads it has been moving further north for the last 5 years or so. I hope it isn't, but I know both purple and yellow leaves can be signs, and it would be better to catch it early.

  4. What ever came of this? I am now seeing the exact same purple tinted appearing on my swamp milkweed.


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