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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 19, 2009

From: Denton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native impatiens in Denton, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, 4 weeks ago I planted a shady bed (2'x10') with impatiens for the third year in-a-row. Previously, the plants thrived & bloomed till November. Three weeks ago, something that looked like a thin layer of white salt appeared on the leaves and stems of 2 of the plants. We've had, at least, 2-3 days of rain a week since then. After each rain, the "salt" appeared on another 2-3 plants and now has spread the length of the bed, including on my large purple wandering jew (and on the leaf mulch surrounding the plants). After the "salt" is wet it looks like brown sand with 2 tiny "antennae." It doesn't cover each plant, just about a third, and, so far, hasn't affected blooming or growth. I am most concerned about it spreading to the rest of my garden, separated by a 2' sidewalk.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Since Impatiens wallerana is native to Africa, from Tanzania to Mozambique, it will not appear in our Native Plant Database. We found an excellent website from the University of California Integrated Pest Management site on Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Impatiens wallerana. On the upper right hand side of this webpage are two columns of links to "Invertebrates" (bugs) and "Diseases". Follow each of those links, all of which have pictures that will help you identify your problem. There are also suggestions for treatment. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014 - i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
view the full question and answer

Thinning of non-native rosemary
May 09, 2007 - I live in NW Austin and have a very large rosemary bush that is having problems this season. We trimmed the bush in early March because the plant was getting too large for the space. It is roughly 3...
view the full question and answer

Sages in Catasauqua, PA
August 08, 2014 - I want to buy a Texas Sage tree but I live in PA. Can I bring the tree indoors during winter?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating KR? Bluestem from St. Augustine Yard in Spicewood, TX
April 28, 2012 - How can I eradicate bluestem grass invading my St. Augustine lawn?
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