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 wash all my outdoors buds. Use a spray bottle to thoroughly soak the infected plants. Filed Under: Milkweed Garden Ideas, Milkweed Garden Pests and Guests, Organic Gardening. The brown chrysalises can be a bacterial infection. They then told me because my plants were indoors that that was the problem. Why are my plants’ leaves turning purple? Tony, I’ve been concerned about my milkweed leaves turning purple and dropping off. It looks like tiny black / brown dots all over the underside and almost like bruised or wet spots on the top side. Is this fungus? There are flies that predate on the caterpillars and young chrysalides. PS…I don’t think it would be toxic to future eggs/caterpillars, but you could always rinse off the plants with water if you are concerned. I would focus on adding more pesticide-free milkweed plants to your garden, or there won’t be enough to feed them all. Would the hydrogen peroxide possibly work? Do not compost diseased leaves/stems and risk spreading fungus spores into the soil. 2. or is this something that is naturally occurring in the plant? I've been very vigilant about my treatment, using tea tree oil, borax, hydrogen peroxide, lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, and apple cider vinegar. Hi Ralph, I only spray plants after I’ve checked for eggs and caterpillars. I also have some butterfly bushes that have a little bleach looking area, but the milkweed is more worrisome for me. It can be especially bad with curassavica. I would try them. I’m not positive but it might be leaf scorch from too much sun. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) it is made up of Hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2), however H2O2 has an extra Oxygen atom in an unstable arrangement – it is this extra negatively charged Oxygen atom that gives H2O2 its useful properties. We remove any problem leaves and treat soil preventatively with hydrogen peroxide which has worked well for us. They couldn’t offer me a solution. Milkweed is pretty resilient. I grew my seeds in 8 “cow pots” sitting in a plastic container sitting on heat mats and all under lights. Little yellow spots have developed on the leaves. I’m especially concerned because this is only happening to one of my plants, although they do get different amounts of sun exposure. I would not spray with the solution if any caterpillars are on the affected plants but rather remove them, then spray. ). For the first time, my milkweed is covered with rust fungus. Help, I am doing everything the same , I totally wash all the stems before bringing in to the cages. However, although Monarch eggs are fairly securely attached, that hard blast of water could dislodge any Monarch eggs or larvae that are hidden on the bottoms of your leaves too! Will this dilute spray harm them if some hits them by accident? I’ll look first, and remove any I find to safety, but of course I may miss some. it may perform better if it’s allowed to go through the winter part of it’s growth cycle, which it is able to do in perennial zones that still experience a true winter where the plant dies back. Hi Emily, ants are monarch predators. The herbicide kills all plants in its path, except for the GE crop. I noticed a monarch butterfly around yesterday. I was going to dig up most of their milkweed and transplant it. I don’t think it would hurt eggs, but I would suggest testing it out before spraying them in mass…. Do you know what it is? What can I do to prevent this without hurting the plant or cats? Hi Deborah, OE wouldn’t cause the caterpillars to stop eating. 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. Hi Pat, I’m not familiar with the issue. While DEET may kill aphids on your milkweed, it’s also going to kill monarch eggs and caterpillars. Or is it not getting enough sun? I watered the soil with hydrogen peroxide earlier this spring (before plants start coming up). I'm at the end of my healing and now stocked up on TTO, ACV, Hydrogen Peroxide for ever! © Copyright 1999 - 2020 Grasscity.com is a part of, Harvesting Cannabis With Bugs Or Mildew - Spliffseeds, (You must log in or sign up to post here. I try and let the caterpillars do it, but in areas where there is rust the stem just seems to die. Hi Sandra, sorry to hear this. Does that affect the caterpillars negatively if later, eggs are laid on the plants and caterpillars eat the leaves? All it takes is about five to ten caterpillars to demolish your plant. For info on specific plant pathogens: I have just begun raising monarchs. Hi Terry, I use this more preventatively at the beginning of the season and overwintering plants indoors. At this point, you could try cutting back the affected areas of the plant and then spray the remaining plant and soil…good luck! If left for the leaf hoppers, they’ll quickly spread the bacteria to other plants in the vicinity. I would post your photo in a facebook group like this: My swamp milkweed plants has reddish/purple edges on some of the leaves. Leaves can also look mottled if infested with spider mites: Tony, do you have to use food grade hydrogen peroxide? The nurseries don’t seem to be any help. All I do is remove the most affected leaves, which are usually at the bottom. Of course, they accept no responsibility and told me they know nothing about caterpillars etc. The stems look ok, I guess, but like I said, I’m a newbie to all of this!! I have used the hydrogen peroxide solution with some success. A: You definitely should not use any toxic insecticide, since that could kill the caterpillars as well. At least I know what to do next year. These shelters can be bought online. Although hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant and antiseptic, it is not as effective as copper fungicide in preventing late blight on tomatoes. Any suggestions? Yellowing leaves can be from too much or too little water…adjust water levels to see if this makes a difference. Those little beggars will crawl up your arm and bite like chiggers and will drive you crazy for a day. You water with a hydrogen peroxide and water preventable y? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. However the plant could be harboring butterfly disease spores left there by diseased butterflies landing on it (including the mom butterfly). This article mentions using a hydrogen peroxide mix to kill fungus. The thought of insect shit in the weed is a major issue for me ,,, I haven't ever dealt with that issue myself .. Spider mites and fungi/mold I have . It appears like a fall changing leaf, but the leaves otherwise are healthy. Hello! Help! We easily had over 100 caterpillars but only three butterflies emerge. How do you get rid of parsley worms? Is this from too much shade or what? I waited a bit and bought two more plants from a different nursery and tried again. He leaves look healthy otherwise. Please help, I still have 2 cages with cats. Yesterday they ate everything and today, I cleaned and replaced food with fresh cuttings from the same found space I’d fed them leaves from before. I’ve not been successful with the last 80+ caterpillars. I am doing a project on the Monarch Butterflies and it includes their decline. If an egg is on a problem leaf, you can cut off a small piece of the leaf (with the egg) and place it on a healthy cutting or leaf. It killed the aphids, didn’t harm the butterfly weed and the cats seemed to be ok. Hi Allie…hard to say. The soil is probably already pretty acid but I will check it just to be sure. I’m in Houston and have been raising asclepias for 25 years. Thin out the herd– if your milkweed plants are crowded, your milkweed patch can become a breeding ground for fungi. Subject. It flourished this way. good luck! Yeah, I'm kinda scared to see what comes out of my buds. I try to limit my caterpillar shit inhalations as much as possible. Rather than fight the flies and hornets, I pluck off all the eggs and instars and raise them inside. Is it safe to use the solution on the plants with eggs? Would aphids cause leaves to turn yellow? hi Meg, if it’s not planted in well drained soil, root rot is a possibility, although i haven’t seen this with tropical milkweed in our northern region. I’ve never seen so much damage and havoc before. I will definitely remove these. These often kill the caterpillars just before they pupate, or during the pupa stage. Last updated on May 19, 2020 I suspect they came from the same butterfly and the sae thing would have happened in the wild, but it’s horrible to watch. I planted a butterfly and pollinator garden a couple of months ago. You can kill lots of gypsy moth caterpillars simply by wrapping your tree trunks with a band of burlap bags. Hi Gloria, hydrogen peroxide is actually food for plants, adding more oxygen to the roots. I’m not sure what those black dots are but taking some photos and asking around. I’ve got them separated into three different milkweed cuttings. Many plant diseases and fungus are the result of low oxygen levels in the roots. When planted a few weeks ago we were in the low 80s. I’m in central Florida. 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. I have successfully released 4 with 2 chrysallis pending. Hi Barbara, fungus can be a problem with too much moisture or when plants are spaced too close together. 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. I would cut all the plants down to the ground and treat the stubs and soil as well as clean all the surrounding surfaces. If you don’t have milkweed to spare, you can transplant what you remove: How To Successfully Transplant Milkweed with Taproots. I apply hydrogen peroxide according to this helpful chart: I would removing the affected leaves and then spray the other leaves with the hydrogen peroxide mix listed in the post to see if that makes a difference. nope…just the 3% commonly found in stores. I usually remove/discard those leaves and it’s never developed into a serious problem. I have some yellow/orange looking leaves. 1/4 cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide; 2 tablespoons of Rubbing Alcohol (or old-style mouth wash like Listerine) 1/4 tsp. Thank you. We can be killing our caterpillars and not even be aware that we are doing so. I dug up a large tropical milkweed after last years first frost and it grew beautifully all winter. 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. was it the 1 tablespoon of 3 % for each cup of water? ), I notice one of my milkweed plants is growing yellow leaves at the bottom. After yesterday’s wild feat i expected most of these leaves to be gone by now. Of course it could be the incoming monarchs and their eggs but to me that just doesn’t seem right. I don’t think h202 would hurt them, but I’ve never sprayed it directly on them. Prepare a cup of soapy water or half-alcohol and half-water mixture. Hi Todd, This hunter is a Predatory Stink Bug nymph in the subfamily Asopinae. Hi Gail, I use the mixing chart for sick/fungusy plants: Sounds like Kathy had a combination of problems. I have a bunch of seeds to plant and no safe place to plant them now . I normally use a pint of Hydrogen peroxide to 3 gallons of weed, and ice and water . This strategy has worked well to keep our milkweed patches healthy and ready to support monarchs. I’ve removed each purple leaf and examined them carefully. Do you think this is fungal? I would also try spraying the remaining stem with a hydrogen peroxide mix…see the chart linked in the article. I put it in a large glass spaghetti jar filled with water and just the leftover loose soil that was on the roots. of wetting agent (dishwashing liquid will do) Use this mixture as a foliar spray to keep your plants healthy and free from bugs. 5. I would not spray with the solution if any caterpillars are on the affected plants but rather remove them, then spray. They all have the problem. When there’s problem, I remove leaves/stems before they spread, and that has been effective for us. I wonder what the issue is. hi Kat, if your plants are getting too much direct sun too quickly the leaves can burn. Oddly- my neighbors yard has become overgrown with this same type milkweed which were healthy until this past week the leaves have a silvery blackish spotting along them. Any ideas/suggestions on dealing with this problem. In Indiana it’s Purdue. Hi Kathy, it sounds like you are having a major issue with tachinid flies. Hydrogen peroxide is a nontoxic alternative to chemical pest control and breaks down into water and oxygen. When it make sense, prune away entire sections of the plant. If there are too many on a plant, do they try to go elsewhere? Visit our Facebook Page to discuss this article! Hi Kelly, that’s way too many caterpillars for one plant. I would like to try the hydrogen peroxide/water spray (I read thru the instrux) and BUT I’m not totally clear: can I do this while caterpillars or eggs may be present? Did you soak the dirt or just spray on top of it? 10% hydrogen peroxide will kill weeds. Most universities have a insect rearing lab that could answer your question. As a background, there must be at least 25 cats on the bush which is average size in a container about a year old. Thank you so much for this! Could it possibly be water related—not enough or too much? It has to be the milkweed, do you think the late season milkweed (tropical) could have oem that doesn’t wash off. 4. I am thinking of cutting most of it down to stems and then spraying the stems and the ground and then hope there is new growth in August. I have a gray film on the leaves of my plants. We have had a lot of rain. Spray once a week or after it rains. Thanks. I can’t find anything that says if this is normal Fall behavior or not (chicago, zone 5b). I live in Fla and have what looks like white barnacles growing on my milkweed. Hi Claire, we typically use the h2o2 preventatively on small plants and soil before the plants come up. The flowers on the tops of my tropical milkweed plants are wilting and dying. I also use it for overwintering plants indoors. And how do I treat it? Being able to keep these insects at bay is critical. To spray on sick or fungusy plants: TO THIS AMOUNT OF WATER ADD THIS AMOUNT OF 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 1 cup --1 tablespoon 1 pint-- 2 tablespoons 1 quart-- 1/4 cup 1 gallon-- 1 cup 5 gallons-- 5 cups 10 gallons-- 10 cups 20 gallons-- 20 cups As you may notice, the amount of peroxide in the chart for sick and fungusy plants is twice as much as … Native milkweed typically looks pretty bad by the end of the season, so your milkweed may be … Thanks in advance for your help! This can be avoided by bringing in eggs. Thanks, Terry Greenwell. Several seemed to have tried to chrysallis to early since I see the silky black pile on the leaf and they were very small. Of course as a Purdue entomology grad i think they are the best. I thought it was from the heat and lack of rain this summer, but now I’m going to remove all of the yellow mishapen plants and hope for some healthy ones to come back up. 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’m not sure if foreign substances would affect their perception…again, you can always test. Hi! They then told me because I’m using tropical plants and not native that that was the problem. Mist the milkweed plants from above so water mist rains down on them. A: There are many diseases and parasites that kill monarchs, including viral, protozoan, fungal, and bacterial infections. I then explained that I had been doing things this way for a long time and never before had a problem. Maybe also writhing in the cage? Here’s more info: As for the rest, are you in a region with increased mosquito spraying this season? I would research thoroughly…good luck! It was the 1st one I’ve seen this season here in Massachusetts. Here’s more short and long term strategies on: My milkweed on the patio have white mottling on the leaves. What could be causing this problem? They didn’t get any other calls. The black spots on my curassavica look exactly like your picture so I’m going out right now to remove the unhealthy ones. Thanks for any advise. I am learning that the Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) contains a protozan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha that kills off the monarchs and the caterpillars. Amen. Hydrogen peroxide both treats and further prevents pest infestation. Monarch caterpillar on common milkweed by Joanna Gilkeson, USFWS. I noticed I do have some plants with blackish spots and not so nice looking. Every bit of my milkweed has the rust colored fungus and my catties are eating them, so I hope the fungus doesn’t hurt them either. I have since removed my other cats onto another plant. If an infected butterfly lays eggs, they will be infected and can spread the OE to other healthy cats who crawl over the same plants. Hi Brenda, you could always try spraying leaves with a hydrogen peroxide solution and/or removing affected leaves as is listed in the post…, Will the peroxide help with rust spots do the leaves and will it hurt the caterpillars . Will the hydrogen peroxide spray hurt Monarch catepillars? Hi Joanne, I’ve seen this before too and just removed the affected leaves. Monarch Caterpillars....Beware the Paper Wasp. Hello! Two different nurseries for my 5 gallon mildweed (tropical) plants. They suggested I call the department of agriculture. Hi Toney, I already get news from your web site but my issue is leaves turning yellow and falling off with lots of weird looking spots all over so I am thinking it might be a fungus of some sort and I am not sure of how to get rid of this problem without killing the eggs. I have searched for problem solving issues but am not sure what to try now. Hi Renee, this is how swamp milkweed goes out every season. It starts off with small Yellowish brown bumps all over the underside of the leaves. Looking good at 3″ ,tall They seem happy alongside my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I am not sure if the plant is dying, the sun is killing these leaves or if this is normal. Hi Darby, you have to experiment to find that happy medium where the plants will thrive. I tried the peroxide, but this is really bad and it did not help at all. Do you know how often I can spray? Tony, what peroxide mixture did you use to water your dirt before plants began to emerge? I checked for spiders/mites etc but can’t seem to figure out what has happened. Hi Erin, Asclepias curassavica does not ‘contain’ OE spores…they are left on the plants by sick butterflies taking nectar and/or depositing eggs. Green liquid from your caterpillars? The tachnid fly has been covered. It’s a simple three step method. Yes its normally to use Hydrogen Peroxide when making Bubble hash .. I have a number of butterfly weed transplants that I am trying to sell at a farmer’s market. 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. Anyhow, all plants come back just fine the next season…. hi Caroline, sounds like it could be a fungus…if supply is low I would just offer them the best of what you have. It has never developed into a serious issue, so I don’t believe it’s a fungus/disease. About 75% of them seem to be trying to leave the plant. I was thrilled and spent as much time as I could watching and photographing them. Hi Marcella, I remove problem leaves and discard. Spray early next season including the soil before plants emerge…good luck! This bacterial disease is spread mainly by leaf hoppers and is recognized by yellowing leaves with twisted shapes, and die back of branches. I am so interested in the H2O2 thing. I live in central Florida. Thoughts? Tony Gomez says. I have sprouts coming up that were fungusy last year. If i could offer a suggestion, find out who your local land grant university is for your state. Anyone ever use the dawn and water to see if it helps with rust? During the season, I never spray any foliar treatments on milkweed because monarchs use their feet and head to detect whether a plant is milkweed. I use the measurements for sick/fungusy plants…2 cups in a 2 gallon watering can of the 3%. 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