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

Wednesday - October 12, 2005

From: Buena Vista, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Smarty Plants on fungal attack
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have three plants that have been getting fungus on their soil and I've tried to get rid of it by scraping it off, watering it less and more sunlight. It's two coleus and a begonia. I don't know what else I can do to get rid of it. The fungus attacked the base of one of the plants, and I'd really like to be rid of it. Once I get rid of it, is there a way I can keep it away?

ANSWER:

Since both coleus and begonias (neither are native species) are easy to propagate by cuttings, I recommend that you do that. Just take some cuttings of healthy top-growth from your plants and start them in water or sterile rooting media in a warm window with bright, indirect sunlight.

Remove the diseased plants along with the top two inches or so of soil and replace with clean topsoil or potting media. Don't place discarded, diseased plants in compost, they should be thrown in the trash or burned. Otherwise, it sounds like you are taking the right steps to avoid most fungal problems. Before using any kind of fungicide, you should first positively identify the pathogen. Your county extension agent can assist you with that if you desire.

Here are a couple links that you might find useful. The first, House Plants: Proper Care and Problem Solving is an excellent information page of North Dakota State University. Another, Houseplant Diseases and Disorders is published by Clemson University Extension.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native citrus trees from Mesa AZ
January 13, 2014 - We have one valencia orange tree and one naval orange tree in our Mesa, AZ yard. Just noticed some oranges on both trees have a 1/4 inch diameter hole through the skin and the orange fruit and skin a...
view the full question and answer

Lists of medicinal plants from New York City
April 11, 2014 - Do you know any resources for lists of medicinal plants native to New York? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of non-native Althea in Oklahoma
August 17, 2008 - I have 2 Althea bushes that will not bloom. For the past 2 years, they become covered in buds, which eventually yellow, but never open. The buds are fully developed. This year the branches have starte...
view the full question and answer

Recovery of non-native star jasmine from freezing in New York
April 22, 2007 - Hello, I have a star jasmine plant that was left outside over the winter. Will it come back to life? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Do Banana Plants Grow in Galveston, Texas?
March 30, 2011 - Do banana plants grow on Galveston island?
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