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

Thursday - June 17, 2010

From: Morrow, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Insects on hybrid 'Ann' magnolia in Morrow OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an Ann Magnolia. It is covered in all kinds of stinging insects and flies. This has never happened before. Is this a common problem for the tree? What should I do?

ANSWER:

According the U. S. National Arboretum, Magnolia 'Ann' is a hybrid of Magnolia liliflora 'Nigra' x Magnolia stellata 'Rosea'.  M. liliflora is a native of China and M. stellata is a native of Japan, putting it out of our range of expertise, which is plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is being grown.

In this article from the Ohio State University Extension Magnolia Pest Leads to Sticky Situation  we learned about Magnolia Scale. We have extracted a couple of paragraphs for clarity, but you should read the whole article, which gives suggestions for treatment of the scale, to take care of the flying insects problem. 

"Another indication of magnolia scale results from the large quantities of sap sucked from the plant as scales feed. The sap provides a low-protein, high-sugar diet, and in order for the scale to obtain adequate amounts of protein, the insect must ingest excessive amounts of sap. Much of this sap is excreted by the scales, which produces a clear, sticky, sugary substance known as honeydew.

This honeydew coats twigs, leaves and anything under infested branches, including cars and patio furniture. If the honeydew is not removed, a more obvious, unattractive black fungus known as sooty mold begins to grow. This is often the first symptom of infestation that people notice. Yellow jackets, wasps and ants also are good indicators of infestations as they are often attracted to the sweet honeydew on which they feed."

In addition, here is an article from the Penn State Cooperative Extension Woody Ornamentals IPM, with more information on controlling the scale, which causes the sap exudation, which attracts the flying insects you are seeing.  You might also contact the Ohio State University Extension Office for Warren County

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native mandevilla in Southport NC
July 11, 2009 - I have planted a mandevilla and the leaves look healthy. It produces buds, but something is cutting them off. Right next to it is a mandevilla that is blooming profusely. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Non-native poinsettia care
October 07, 2007 - I have a poinsettia that I have nursed from last Christmas. It is in big pot and looks really good. I'm trying to make it bloom. I have it out front with a sw exposure. I'm afraid of too much sun...
view the full question and answer

Is India Hawthorne a deer-resistant plant?
July 03, 2011 - Is India Hawthorne a deer resistant plant in Beaufort County South Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Disease in non-native globe willow from Morgan UT
June 11, 2011 - I have a globe willow tree that is a few years old but still a relatively young tree. It appears to have slime flux disease. It has 3 or 4 spots on the trunk where the foam exits and runs down the tru...
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