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

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:


Wedelia texana

Wedelia texana

Wedelia texana

 

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Grasshopper-resistant landscape plants?
May 20, 2009 - We have a ton of grasshoppers in our area. I would like to plant bushes and flowers that the grasshoppers will not eat. Can you suggest any??
view the full question and answer

Beneficial earthworms attacked by fire ants
August 04, 2006 - Is there a right way or a trick to releasing earthworms? I have a friend who has an abundance of earthworms in their soil so I took advantage of the situation. I released them in my freshly tilled gar...
view the full question and answer

Corona de Cristo, guest or pest?
July 12, 2008 - We have had two recent speakers at the Austin Butterfly Forum with differing views as to whether Passiflora foetida is invasive in Texas. One believes that it's well-behaved and a a great butterfly ...
view the full question and answer

Old oak tree dropping leaves in Hazlet Township NJ
July 08, 2013 - I am 84 yrs old and have a 50 year old pin? oak. No more acorns, but the leaves are falling in clumps and are still alive. Every day I fill a huge garden bag with them. I live on a fixed income and...
view the full question and answer

Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
August 04, 2009 - My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center