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

Information about non-native tung tree
November 20, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a tree growing in my yard in North Austin which I can't identify. I have been told it is a 'tong' or 'tung' tree but can't find it in any reference books. It is de...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Confederate Jasmine dry up in Buda TX
June 23, 2011 - Leaves on star or confederate jasmine vine dry up. Not due to lack of water and I can't find any insect damage. Starts with one shoot and then spreads to entire plant. I will try to attach picture...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native althea in White Oak TX
June 10, 2011 - I have an althea bush that is 2 years old. I have never had a problem with it before but this year only half of it has leaved out and is blooming. The other half has some very small leaves and very sm...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Red Rock TX
April 19, 2010 - I have 4 beautiful large sago palms in my rural Texas yard. All 4 have been damaged by several hard freezes this winter. All fronds are brown, with a little green at base of inner fronds. Are they ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center