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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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Monday - November 30, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Mealybugs on non-native Lady Palm in Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Rather than dabbing rubbing alcohol on the leaves of an indoor lady palm infested with mealybugs,since the infestation is widespread, would spraying the palm with the rubbing alcohol be effective?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, propagation and preservation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. From Plant-Care.com, here is a website on Rhapis excelsa - The Lady Palm that can give you some leads to the answer to your question. It is native to Southeast Asia; very few plants that will flourish indoors in pots are native to North America, they tend to be tropicals.
 

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