I bought this plant a couple of years ago for the purpose of butterflies and more. This year my pink Milkweed produced alot of pods but the orange one didn't. (sorry image is before it starting flowering but it's orange/yellow) Can anyone shed light on no-pod butterweed here is the name on tag: Asclepias Tuberosa.
Does this plant have to mature before it goes to seed?
My Asclepias tuberosa (as well as Asclepias incarnata) didn't do well this year either, and I think I got an average of no more than one pod per plant. I hope that it was because of all the rain and cool temperatures that we had and that the plants will do better if we have the typical hot, dry Iowa summer in 2010.
Milkweed flowers are rather "unique", in that it takes quite a bit of luck for an insect to actually pollinate the flower.
There are five nectar cups on each flower (not the flower cluster), with smooth, incurved "horns" growing from the cups. An insect's leg will "slip" on a horn and go into the slit between two cups. If the insect is trapped there, and dies, no pollen is brought up -- but when the insect frees itself and moves on to another flower, it takes with it two pollen sacs from that slit. Then the whole process has to be repeated, resulting in the pollen sacs being deposited in/next to the cups of another flower...
Because of the unique method of pollination, and the fact that there is only one pod for each flower (again, not the flower cluster), the only way to get a LOT of pods is to make sure a LOT of flowers are actually fertilized. If you really want a LOT of pods, you may have to hand-fertilize your milkweed's flowers.