En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - August 06, 2008

From: Port Monmouth, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Bugs on yucca plant in New Jersey
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I noticed small bugs ALL OVER 4 established yucca plants all near each other. They may look like Halticotoma valida but I'm not positive. There is no brown on the leaves except for the large amounts of bugs scurrying about but the leaves are no longer fully green or straight up. The leaves seem very muted in color and they seem to be wilting more and more. HELP!! How do I get rid of them before they kill my plants?

ANSWER:

We're still trying to get our minds around there being yucca in New Jersey. There are 28 plants that either are yuccas or have "yucca" in their names in our Native Plant Database. As we went through trying to find a likely candidate, we found that most of them listed their native habitat as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Finally, we found one, Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle) that is known to grow in New Jersey. There is also Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca) but it didn't appear to be growing anywhere outside the desert Southwest, either. Do you know which yucca you have?

The Floral Genome Project Yucca filamentosa has some general information on this plant. Nearly every website we visited on yucca assured us that there were no significant pests or diseases of the yucca if its cultural requirements were met. However, we did at last find a site that admitted they might have infestations of Halticotoma valida. See if the images on the referenced site match the bugs you are talking about. We also found several references to mealybugs as being a nuisance to yuccas. This eHow site gives you complete instructions on How to Control Mealybugs. Here is a page of Images of mealybugs. And, finally, here is a Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website on the Plant Health Problems of Yucca . The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center neither recommends for nor against pesticides, but these sites have suggestions for the specific bugs in question. Always read directions carefully and follow them to the letter when applying pesticides.

 

More Pests Questions

Tulip trees losing bark in OH
July 11, 2011 - We have two tulip trees in our yard that are losing their bark at the base of the trunk. I am careful with the mower keeping away from the tree when I mow. What could the problem be and what can I d...
view the full question and answer

Pruning live oak in Austin
April 28, 2012 - Hi, We recently purchased a house in South Austin and there is a huge Live Oak Tree about 6 feet from the back door (so so so love it!) The only real issues I have so far are: 1. Needing to trim a ...
view the full question and answer

Bugs eating new growth on Mountain Laurel shrubs from Dripping Springs TX
April 02, 2013 - What is eating the new growth on my mountain laurel shrubs? One plant has red bugs and the other has black (could they be love bugs?). Is there something I can do to preserve the new growth?
view the full question and answer

Aluminum foil disorienting insects under plants from Brierfield AL
April 20, 2011 - Does covering the ground under plants frequently attacked by flea beetles with aluminum foil really disorient the insects? But does it also disorient beneficial insects?
view the full question and answer

Problem with Eupatorium greggii
April 27, 2008 - At the Garden's fall plant sale in 2006, I bought some Eupatorium greggii. It did very well last year. Recently, the entire plant looks like it is just wilting from the top down, as if it has some so...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center