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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 - August 20, 2009

From: Honolulu, HI
Region: Hawaii
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Bugs on non-native Pachystachys lutea in Hawaii
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My golden shrimp/lollipop plant has aphid like bugs. They are darker and firmer than aphids but clump like them. They are consuming it. What are they and how do I get rid of them?

ANSWER:

Pachystachys lutea, golden shrimp or lollipop plant, is native to Central and South America. Therefore, it is out of our range of expertise, that of plants that are native to North America and to the areas in which they are being grown, and also non-native to Hawaii, which we understand is pretty well saturated with non-natives. We are not entomologists, but we have found some websites with good pictures that may help you identify your bug and figure out how to deal with it. Even though you felt they were darker and firmer than aphids, there are a lot of different kinds of aphids, so it's a consideration, as well as the Scale insects and Spider Mites, which are known to be pests of your plant. 

Gardening Know How How to Control Plant Scale

How to Get Rid of Things How to Get Rid of Spider Mites

University of California Integrated Pest Management Aphids

 

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