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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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Thursday - July 30, 2009

From: Tuckerton, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Worms on blackeyed susans and daisies in Tuckerton NJ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have black eyed susans and white daisies planted together. Not sure if this makes a difference. Today I noticed that there are tiny worms on both the plants they are almost the size of silk worms. What can I spray on the plants to remove any bugs that won't damage the plants?

ANSWER:

If you feel they are just "worm worms," not a caterpillar larvae of some beautiful butterfly you have been trying to attract, spraying or drenching the plants with a mild solution of soapy water should send the worms on their way, and certainly will not hurt the plants.

If, on the other hand, they are caterpillars, and you don't care if the DO grow up to be butterflies, here is an article from the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, The Best Caterpillar Control, by John Starnes. 

If you still don't feel your problem is solved, contact the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension office for Ocean County.  If you are having problems, others probably are, too, and the University Extension people should be able to give you closer-to-home advice.

 

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