Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Friday - April 02, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Spots on just-emerging Zexmenia in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My zexmenia is just coming up from the ground after a cold winter in Austin. The leaves are all spotted with tiny holes as if something is munching on them before they even leave the ground or just as they appear. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

We could find nothing that could be causing the spots and holes on your Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia). The only pest that we learned could damage it was rabbits. Those don't sound like rabbit munches. If you have been growing it for a while, you already know that it needs full sun, and that it has a woody base that it will die back to in cold weather. About the only advice we found was to never fertilize it, and that might be a clue. Some tough native plants particularly dislike being fertilized, and Zexmenia is specifically mentioned in our Native Plant Database as one of those. If you routinely fertilize your garden in the early Spring, which is when it is recommended, your plant could be objecting to that. Beyond that we are going to give you some links to information about insects that it MIGHT be, and then recommend that you let it grow for a while and see if it improves.

University of California Integrated Pest Management Aphids

Golden Harvest Organics Whiteflies

University of Florida Extension Scale Insects

Since we are neither  entomologists nor plant pathologists, if the problem persists you could contact the Travis County Extension Office for more help. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
view the full question and answer

Brown spots in St. Augustine grass
July 05, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I are in the Air Force and were recently moved to Cibolo Texas. We built a home and hired a landscaper to finish the yard May 07 (with irrigation system). We laid d...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Mountain Laurel in Leander TX
June 15, 2009 - My 13 yr old Mountain Laurel tree is sick. It has lost most of its leaves after blooming this spring. The twigs seem to still be pliable so I assume alive. I saw no moth worms or bags this year, ju...
view the full question and answer

Agarita and Mexican Buckeye not flowering or fruiting.
December 11, 2012 - The Greenbelt behind our home has a ton of agarita and Mexican buckeye, but they never bloom or berry. The pigeon berry is very happily doing both all year. Any suggestions for helping the agerita a...
view the full question and answer

Diagnosis of problems with Texas ash
June 07, 2006 - Our 15 year old Texas ash has less leaf production this year. It also has a small amount of algae on the trunk, and some of the branches have small white spots on it. Also, a few of the branches close...
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.