Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - October 26, 2009

From: Monroe, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have even fallen off due to damage it looks like. What can this be and what should I do? I have searched hundreds of questions on your site under plant damage and I still have not found for sure what I need.I saw your information and photos of spider mites, white flies Etc. I don't see anything like that.I saw what we call a stink bug that we see on cucumbers but I only saw one.

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. There are 8 species of ruellia native to Louisiana, but none of them are those you are asking about, all of which are non-native hybrids, and therefore out of our range of expertise. However, we did do some searching for what might have been causing the holes in your plants, and it would appear the reason there is no information on pests and diseases for ruellia is that the general concensus is that it has no pests and diseases of any concern. One possibility that occurred to us is grasshoppers; we have observed in the past that they can be "hit and run" bugs, having a bite here and there but not hanging around. If they are not affecting your blooms, it would not seem you have much to worry about. You should also note that the ruellia is considered an invasive plant in many areas of North America, especially in the South. Read this article from Floridata on Ruellia brittoniana for more information.

Since we are neither entomologists nor plant pathologists, you might get better information from the Louisiana State University Research and Extension Office for Ouachita Parish.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Habiturf for Round Rock TX
March 17, 2013 - Topic Habiturf. We have just aerated our lawn. We were planning on throwing out bermudagrass seed. We already have bermudagrass as well as many weeds in the lawn especially the blue stem clump grass w...
view the full question and answer

Disposal of non-native chinaberry and ligustrum and their seeds
October 06, 2004 - I've got some chinaberry and ligustrum in a section of our lot that I am going to remove to make room for native plants. Both have berries, & I was wondering if running them through a chipper will ha...
view the full question and answer

Growth rate for eucalyptus in Florida
September 21, 2006 - How fast does eucalyptus grow in Florida?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Centaurium spicatum, family gentianceae
January 21, 2008 - I need to know every single detail about centaurium spicatum family gentianceae.
view the full question and answer

Caring for non-native Peace Lily
July 04, 2005 - I have given my closet plant too much miracle gro and the leaves are drooping really bad. What do I need to do?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.