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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.

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

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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!

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Tuesday - September 02, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with lantanas in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Lantanas redux! I'm having similar problems with my Lantana here in Austin, Texas, as the person in Bandera. My husband has cut it back to the ground twice this summer. It returns, beautiful vibrant, full of blooms for several weeks, then succumbs again, not to bugs, it seems to me, but rather to some sort of fungus that turns the leaves brownish gray and curls them up. Whatever this is has also affected our Texas sage bushes, one of which (not so incidentally, the one closest to the lantana) has not come back. The other three Texas sages were cut back to the ground and are trying to come back again. So what do you recommend for fungus?

ANSWER:

Sorry, we may have already told you all we know about lantana diseases in our previous answer. We would not recommend a fungus treatment until you know for sure it is a fungus. Often, the honeydew left by aphids will become a host for fungi. They can be at least partially controlled by a good hard spray of water. However, we neither recommend for nor against any kind of pesticide, but would like to suggest that you contact the Travis County Extension office for possible information and help.
 

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