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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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Thursday - June 24, 2010

From: Clearwater, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: What to do about leaf spot on Vaccinium myrsinites in Clearwater FL?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have recently planted many Vaccinium myrsinites (shiny blueberry) in my yard. These plants seem to have many dead twig branches without leaves. The remaining leaves have red spots. I visited a native nursery yesterday and noticed that their Vaccinium myrsinites have the same issues. The nursery salesman could not explain the cause. Do you have any suggestions on how I can correct the problem? Or tips for healthier Vaccinium myrsinites? Thanks!

ANSWER:

To Mr. Smarty Plants, its sounds like your blueberries Vaccinium myrsinites (shiny blueberry) may be suffering from leaf spot which is a fungal disease. This site of the Plant Pathology Extension of North Carolina State University has pictures of the symptoms, names of the causative agents, and suggestions for treatment. The Blueberry News, the official Newsletter of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, also has useful information about this problem.

I would also suggest that you contact the folks at the Pinellas County office of the UF/IFAS Extension for some help closer to home.

 

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