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

Brown spots on young redbuds in Lincoln TX
August 01, 2010 - I have lined my driveway in Lee County Texas with Red bud trees purchased both in Dripping Springs and in College Station. The 14 trees are of varying ages and heights (planted during the fall and wi...
view the full question and answer

Sooty Mold on Beauty Berry
May 19, 2009 - We recently planted a beauty berry plant (among others) to attract birds in our backyard. We have had a lot of rain (probably 5-7 inches) since planting a few weeks ago if that might have something to...
view the full question and answer

Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
June 15, 2007 - A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
view the full question and answer

More on oak problems in Carrollton TX
April 04, 2011 - Thank you for answering me, I will contact a specialist to see if we can determine the cause. but since writing you we have pulled down a small twig to see the leaf more closely, it is more of a reddi...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
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