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

Saturday - January 29, 2011

From: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Black fungus on non-native ixora from Palm Beach Gardens FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have 7-8 ixora plants that are side by side and all have developed a black fungus or substance on them. The substance is not only on the plant, but has spread to the wall they are adjacent to. Can these plants be salvaged?

ANSWER:

Ixora coccinea is native to tropical Southeast Asia, including India and Sri Lanka, and is therefore out of our range of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. This Floridata article will give you more information, but does not mention a disease such as you have described.

This sounds like a sooty mold, which can often be caused by mold growing on the honeydew exuded by aphids. However, we are not sure if that mold would spread to a wall. This article Floridaplants.com has information on pests and diseases of Ixora coccinea. Of special interest in your situation is this excerpt:

"Insects and Diseases - This plant is subject to nematodes and should be mulched heavily. It is also attacked by aphids, mites and scale, which cause sooty mold."

If the plant, and especially the wall behind it, are not getting enough sun, the possibility of a mold gets higher. We suggest you examine the plant for aphids, and go from there. Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer which points out that the honeydew and the resultant sooty mold can spread to surfaces around the infested plant.

 

 

 

 


 

More Non-Natives Questions

Water requirements for fruit trees in California
January 15, 2013 - Dear Sir; In which of these options (fruit trees) the need for watering in irrigation process is higher than the others: -Olive tree -Nectarines and peaches trees -Hazelnut trees -Pistachios and ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Ficus Pumila
October 23, 2008 - I have successfully maintained Ficus Pumila trees indoors for many years. Over the last year my two indoor,5' (in container) ficus trees have developed large brown lesions that turn "papery" befor...
view the full question and answer

Decline of non-native weeping willow
June 30, 2008 - I live in Breckenridge, Texas and last year I planted a Weeping Willow tree on my property. It grew fine and seemed to be very healthy until this month. All of a sudden it has steadily lost all its ...
view the full question and answer

Care of a sedum indoors
December 16, 2007 - I have a coworker who has trusted her Sedum Burrito plant into my care because it is not doing well in her office. It appears to need repotting, as it is very crowded in the pot it came in and is dif...
view the full question and answer

Death of non-native eleaegnus from Austin
March 30, 2013 - We have a long hedge of elaeagnus, about 5 ft tall. Four of them died in the middle of the hedge. Where can we find such big plants? Is it advisable to unroot and transplant from another area?
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