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?


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
1 rating

Wednesday - October 20, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Foam on Salvia greggii in Austin
Answered by: Mike Tomme


I have 7 Salvia greggii plants. I am seeing a white foam like substance on tip of all of them (where flowers use to be). Any suggestions on what is happening to the plants?


Sounds like spitllebugs. A spittlebug is an insect that produces a white froth on plants that resembles spittle. Don't worry though, that foam is not actually spit. It comes from the other end of the bug.

The foam serves to hide the bug from predators (including gardeners), protect them from extreme temperatures and prevent them from drying out.

Although they do suck the sap from a plant, most experts agree spittlebugs do not do enough harm to warrant extreme control measures. If you want to get rid of them, a blast of water from the hose usually will do the trick.

Here's a web site with more details: Spittlebugs



More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Non-native blue potato bush in El Dorado Hills CA
June 12, 2010 - I have two blue potato bush topiary planted in my front porch in a very big planter. It's getting a full afternoon sun. I am wondering why they are losing their leaves??? Am I overwatering them??? Al...
view the full question and answer

Bacterial spot in peach tree in McDade TX
February 05, 2009 - I have a Red Globe peach tree which was planted in February 2008. The local agricultural extension agent identified the tree as having Bacterial Spot in November 2008. They recommended copper hydrox...
view the full question and answer

Spots on non-native naval orange trees from Stockton CA
October 20, 2012 - I have two mature Navel Orange trees. One tree has developed spotty chlorophyl depleted areas that were not on the oranges when they were smaller. In addition, the oranges on both trees are smaller ,...
view the full question and answer

Live oak bark splitting in Katy TX
October 03, 2011 - We have a 7 yr old live oak that looks like its bark is splitting open in branches and top leaves look wilted. If that sounds like oak wilt, do we need to have the tree removed? We live in a subdivisi...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Chinaberry tree from Tucson AZ
September 05, 2013 - I have a 30+ year old Chinaberry tree and this year the branches are much sparser with leaves and there are a lot of small dead branches. Should I fertilize and what should I use? Thank you
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.


Texas bug book: the good, the bad, and the ugly (2005) Howard Garrett and C. Malcolm Beck

Search More Titles in Bibliography

© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center