Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 13, 2008

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disease in non-native pittisporum in Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there a disease in central Texas (Round Rock) affecting dwarf pittosporum? Specifically, clusters of dead leaves and much leaf drop. Some white, cottony residue on wood but not sure if it is mealybug. Spreading to all pittosporum in my landscape. I have seen similar looking plants in town.

ANSWER:

Pittosporum is native to China and Japan, and therefore out of our range of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We encourage the usage of plants native to the area in which they are being grown because they are adapted to the soil, water, and environment. We did a little research and found that, indeed, pittosporum is vulnerable to aphids, cottony cushion scale and mealy bugs, which the site we were looking at said could be treated with horticultural oils. We neither recommend for nor against the use of pesticides, and are not familiar with their uses, especially on non-native plants. Therefore, we suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service of Williamson County for more specific information on what is going on in your area. Contact information and further links to that site are on their home page.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native African violets from Mason OH
May 18, 2011 - I have had 3 african violets for at least 4 weeks. I continue to water them and have moved their location. They continue to have wilted leaves. Are they done for or is there something I can do to g...
view the full question and answer

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native Shasta daisies
July 10, 2014 - Our Shasta Daisy has bloomed quite prolifically this year. I don't know what to do with the spent blooms/stalks. Do I trim them down, save the seeds, plant the seeds? Any help is appreciated. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Is Crape Myrtle Native?
July 20, 2015 - Hello, I live in Frisco, TX. Can you tell me is there any Crape Myrtle which is native to Frisco, TX.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
January 16, 2010 - I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.