The Asclepias curassavica is an evergreen shrub native to Central and South America, widespread for some time as a wild plant in most of the tropical and subtropical areas of the globe; it reaches 50-80 cm in height. It has an erect posture, not very ramified, the stems are green, semi-woody at the base, the foliage is dark green, oval, 10-15 cm long, the leaves and stems contain a milky sap, poisonous, which can cause skin irritation.
From late spring, till the autumn cold, it produces several small flowers, united in round or umbrella-like racemes, of orange-red colour, very showy, with a particular shape. In autumn the flowers are followed by the fruits, small pods containing some fertile seeds. Plant easy to grow, is used as a background in the edges, is also grown as an annual.
To keep the shrub compact and encourage a prolonged flowering, it is advisable to remove the wilted flowers and occasionally to top the erect branches.
The Asclepias curassavica should be grown in a sunny or semi-shady place, as they need a place where they can receive a few hours of direct light a day; they are not afraid of the cold, even if they can be damaged by intense or very prolonged frosts; plants damaged by frost often produce new shoots during the following spring season.
They are often grown as annual plants, mainly because they release many fertile seeds, so every year new plants develop in the same area of the garden; these plants are often grown as annual plants. asclepias bloom quickly, a few weeks after sowing.
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The asclepias curassavica can withstand short periods of drought, but to have healthy plants and abundant blooms it is necessary to water regularly, keeping the soil slightly moist, or intervening each time it dries.
In winter, however, it is necessary to thin the watering a lot, especially for plants that are grown in the ground.
From March to October we add to the water some watering of the fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20grioni.
Usually these plants adapt to any soil, as long as it is well drained; it is advisable to avoid too compact and poor soils. It is possible to grow the asclepias curassavica in a container, in this case it is necessary to repot the plant every 2-3 years, to renew the soil and allow the correct development of the roots. Check that there are no water stagnations, which can be dangerous for the health of the plant.
The multiplication of this kind of plants takes place preferably by seed, seen the facility of germination of the seeds and the rapid development of the plant; in late spring it is also possible to take apical cuttings, to be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts.
Asclepias curassavica: Parasites and diseases
This type of plant is usually not afraid of attack by animal or fungal parasites, although sometimes it can be attacked by aphids. It is also important to control the level of humidity that could cause the onset of fungal diseases that would ruin the development of this species.