All Things Gardening forum→What am I doing wrong? (Butterfly Weed Seedlings)

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Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 7, 2020 4:35 PM CST
So I was hoping to get these in the ground in several days. I put them in the sun today for one hour. When I got them out there I noticed they were really weak. The stem is not thick enough to hold their weight. Everything comes back as "leggy" but I have had good light on them, right on them, so I am confused. I have flats of 32. I water in the morning, bottom fed, about 10 oz per flat. I use 2' LED's, four lights per flat directly over plants.

I have 2 questions.

1) Can they be fixed, how?

2) what did I do wrong?


Thumb of 2020-05-07/dthor68/66e890

Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 7, 2020 4:43 PM CST
A picture of my setup.
Thumb of 2020-05-07/dthor68/734d97

Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
May 7, 2020 4:59 PM CST
Congratulations on getting sprouts! Light is a funny thing, a light bulb even 1 yr old has half the lumens it once did, I read on here somewhere that 6400 lumens would be decent light. Add a fan, it helps strengthen them, and try to wait til late pm to see if they perk back up. What happens with a plant, is that when the sun gets hot, the plant sends its water to the roots, it is a survival trait. Try putting them out at night- since I know SC is hot at night- letting them stay out til maybe 9 am, then bringing them in until maybe 6pm and taking them back out. If their upward growing stalls, they are putting energy into their root system to aid the top growth. Don't stop the fan and lights while they are indoors, and best of luck!
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 7, 2020 5:11 PM CST
Thanks. Tonight we get down to 46, tomorrow 41, next day 38. With temps that low should I still put them out. And am I giving them enough water at 10 oz a flat, a day?
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
Image
kittriana
May 7, 2020 5:18 PM CST
If the soil is damp, probably enough water, but with them growing now, you could increase that. How warm is your dirt do you think? Try watering with warm water? 50*outside at night is your magic number. When temps are nighttime stable at 50* you can trust to leave them out all night.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
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Danita
May 7, 2020 5:23 PM CST
Which Asclepias species are you growing?

If it is Asclepias tuberosa, then you may be watering too much/too often.

Is the top of the soil drying out between waterings?

Since we are having a weird cold snap, I'd keep them inside until that is over. Going from your warm house to temps in the 30's would be a big shock.
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Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 7, 2020 5:31 PM CST
Asclepius tuberosa, yes. The top of soil is generally dry by morning. Would using a heat pad during the day help? And I just did the math on my lights. It looks like I am getting 4000 lumens per flat. My house is pretty much always 70, day and night.
[Last edited by dthor68 - May 7, 2020 5:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
Image
kittriana
May 7, 2020 5:58 PM CST
Funny thing abt tuberosa- The range it grows in is limited, when I would drop south from Knoxville, Tn into Atlanta, tuberosa didn't grow south of Tn and and MAYBE the north side of Ga....some of them are limited to ranges. Not sure where to find that range map anymore.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 7, 2020 6:17 PM CST
It is quite common throughout SC, from the mountains to the coast. In fact it grows wild about a 1/4 mile from my house. It is the reason I chose it. All of the plants I will be growing are native to my county. I have always photographed plants, never tried growing them till now. Hopefully I can figure this out.
Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 7, 2020 6:29 PM CST
Found This,

https://www.butterflyencounter...
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
Image
kittriana
May 7, 2020 10:05 PM CST
Yeah, seems they have may have deep taproots, our antelope horns do, you chose well
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 8, 2020 8:54 AM CST
Ok, so I added wind by turning on ceiling fan. And when night time lows hit 50's I will put them out at night. Is there anything else I can do?

I have seen on Prairie Moon's website that they recommend you mow there native wildflower mix's when it starts growing. If I cut the weak in half would they grow stronger?

Still unsure about water requirements?

Thanks for the help.
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
May 8, 2020 2:09 PM CST
It looks to me like you have done a great job! In my experience they are a bit floppy even as adults. Mine do not stand tall in full sun, but rather flop a bit. I think it is just their nature. I really do think they look great.
Name: Derek Thornton
Greer, South Carolina (Zone 8a)
dthor68
May 8, 2020 7:12 PM CST
Thanks, I agree they look good in the second photo, that photo was taken April 27. Now they look like that first photo.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
Image
kittriana
May 8, 2020 11:04 PM CST
Ummm, mowing is usually after they have reached maybe 4 or 5"...you need some leaves on top to feed the roots. Curasavica is our tropical milkweed and we do mow it to keep the bf's healthy, like snipping a pepper plant it forces growth into the roots, then strengthens the plant. I would say you are on course so far.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
May 9, 2020 8:23 AM CST
I would pinch the tips to encourage thicker stems and branching, so yes, mowing, but more careful and calculated. Jjust pinch the tip off with your fingernails. Not just the tip of the leaves at the top, but the actual tip of the stem, which means you'll take some new leaves too. I usually pinch the tips when the leaves I'll remove are less than 1/4 of the total healthy green leaves on the plant and they respond very well. Yours are big enough to pinch
The plural of anecdote is not data.

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