En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - January 14, 2011

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Lesions on Agave Leaves in Spring Branch, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I have a giant Agave americana that was beautiful until recently. Several of the leaves have lesions, some of them quite drastic, on the last third of the leaf. What is causing this?

ANSWER:

Boy, am I glad you only asked what the problem is rather than what to do about it, because that would have been a really hard question.

Agave americana (American century plant) is normally resistant to most diseases, but this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer gives some information on the anthracnose fungus which seems to be the most likely culprit in your situation. This fungus thrives in wet conditions which, I suspect, has been the situation where you live over the last year. Shade can also contribute to the problem.

Ok, what to do about it (hard questions don't scare Mr. Smarty Plants). Here is an article from the University of Arizona that (briefly) discusses the issue on page 7. This article, which was also cited in the previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer mentioned above, recommends removal of the affected foliage and also mentions a fungicide that can be used if that is your preference.

 

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Damage to yucca in San Marcos TX
October 18, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, thank you for helping me with my buffalo grass is San Marcos TX back in the spring, my lawn is gorgeous thanks to you! I really need your help as someone sabotaged my beauti...
view the full question and answer

Succulents, wildflowers and grasses for Austin
June 09, 2010 - I live on a bluff over Lake Travis and am replanting two beds in front of my driveway with Mexican Feathergrass and Agave. What other grasses or wildflowers could I mix in with the Mexican Feathergra...
view the full question and answer

Does the tip of the agave contain poison from Denham Spring LA
December 02, 2009 - I bent over to pick something up and got stabbed in the head with the point of a agave plant. It is about 15 years old and I measured the point-it is right at an inch long. My head did bleed and it bu...
view the full question and answer

Taking down a Century Plant blooming stalk from Fair Oaks Branch TX
August 09, 2013 - Our century cactus looks like it's in the final stages of blooming and I read on your site that the original plant dies. Can we go ahead and cut down the tall blooms?
view the full question and answer

Will cochineal insects washed from cactus plants harm adjacent Oleander?
June 11, 2015 - Will mealybugs (cochineal insects) power washed off prickly pear cactus harm adjacent oleander plants if the white fluff gets on the oleander? My neighbor asked me to power wash my prickly pears and t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center