Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Moth using Agarita as its larval food in New Braunfels, TX
March 27, 2009 - What moth uses agarita as its larval food? It is a perennial problem that can nearly defoliate the specimen and severely limit its flower production.
view the full question and answer

Problem with Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
February 27, 2014 - One of our mature Honey Mesquite trees is losing thumb sized branches high up in the canopy because something is stripping the bark. The branches are completely white for 8-12 inches. Of course the ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Fantex ash in Pahrump NV
April 08, 2010 - We planted a Fantex Ash tree over 3 years ago and it was thriving until recently. This year when the temperature began to warm up, it blossomed and then suddenly stopped growing. All the other trees...
view the full question and answer

Dying Pine Trees in Texas
October 05, 2009 - I live on the water front street in Kemah, Texas. We took water in the entire neighborhood during Hurricane Ike. That's been a year ago and now I have noticed our pines trees are starting to die. I s...
view the full question and answer

Pruning mature cedar elm trees in San Antonio
September 14, 2008 - When is the right time to prune my several mature cedar elm trees? I'm in San Antonio, and they have never been trimmed in the 55 years we have lived in this home. I have several that are at least 7...
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.

Bibliography

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

Search More Titles in Bibliography