Tropical Milkweed under grow light issues.

eddie980January 11, 2014

Hello fellow gardeners. This is my first year growing plants under grow lights. So I decided to grow some Asclepias Curassavica (commonly called Tropical Milkweed) for the Monarch butterflies (their host plant). The plants look great and are growing faster then expected. But most of the plants are starting to form little red spots or red edges around most of the leaves especially the bottom leaves. Eventually the leaves will turn a pretty yellowish red and fall off. What could this be? The plants seem fairly healthy except for this.
Here's some back ground information on them.
-They're under fluorescent grow lights ( the Jump start T5 brand)
-They're about 5 inches from the light
- They take about 16 hours of light a day.
-They're considered full to partial sun plants
-They like moist soil.
I think the problem might be the light. But would love suggestions. Thanks Ed.

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eddie980

Here's another view of the plants leaves (notice edges). This picture was taken before I thinned out some plants.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:29PM
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eddie980

Well, what I decided to do is remove the aluminum foil from the sides of the grow light. I heard aluminum foil helps give the plants more light. But maybe tropical milkweed plants don't care to much for a lot of light. Although they are full sunlight plants. Will see. If anyone knows what might be causing these red spots comments would be great. Thanks :^)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 8:10PM
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nel5397

Sometimes Tropical Milkweed shed their lower leaves so that the new growth has more nutrients. They may need a little more fertilizer.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:23PM
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eddie980

Thanks, Nel5397. I added a little slow release fertilizer on the plants today. I also reduced their light a little and I've noticed a huge difference the newer leaves don't have the red spots like the previous leaves did. I noticed you lived in FL you must see Monarch butterflies there all the time. This year I'm starting early so they can lay some eggs on my milkweeds in the spring. Thanks again. :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:05PM
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