Please forgive my ignorance in posting this...I'm a bit new (well inexperienced) with my milkweeds.
I had 6 milkweed plants for about 9 months in pots. About 5 month ago, I moved and decided to plant them in the ground along with my other butterfly plants. The ground is very sandy and actually as I was digging the hole to plant them there was a lot of landscaping rock. Well, I decided to cut all of them completely down because there were very few leaves left (prior to my move I think the problem started). I thought it was a problem with watering so it would improve with planting them and getting regular water from our irrigation system.
They seemed to really thrive for the first 3 or 4 weeks. New green growth sprouted up like crazy, the 3 existing stalks started to flower, things looked good. Well, about a week ago things started to go wrong. I suddenly have a ton of aphids and now some ladybugs. Many of the large leaves starting from the bottom are getting brown spots, then turning yellow and falling off. Some of the new growth (very small leaves) on one of the plants are actually turning yellow as well and seem to be shriveling up a bit. I did fertilize them with a basic flowering plant fertlizer when I transplanted them.
I also have a buttefly bush that just is not adjusting well to the move and everything seems to be dying and turning brown...whole branches are just breaking off. Can I cut it all the way back to the ground or will that kill it?
Again, I'm sorry for my lack of knowledge, but I really want to learn how to do this and take better care of my plants. At one point with these plants, I raised about 30 beautiful Monarchs on my back porch. It was so exciting and wonderful to watch and I'm hoping to get back to that. Any help that anyone can provide for either my milkeeds or my butterfly bush will be greatly appreciated!!!
Have a great day and I hope to hear from you!