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

Friday - February 11, 2011

From: Fort Davis, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: White powder on non-native houseplants from Fort Davis TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a white powder on my houseplants that I can't figure out what it is or what to do about it? (Dracaena & Corn plants) Could be a fungus can you help? (can send a photo if you will tell me how to do so)


Both plants you mention are members of the genus Dracaena, and native to Africa. Most houseplants do tend to be non-native to North America, and often are tropicals that can survive the extremes of temperature indoors. For information on Dracaena in general, here is an article from Clemson University Extension. For information on the care of Dracaena massangeana, see this page on FAQ's for Corn Plants from houseplants-care.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown.



More Non-Natives Questions

Question about non-native false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima)
September 02, 2009 - Hi. I have a False Aralia-8 stalks. Have had for a while and recently it has begun (and for the first time) dropping leaves. The stalks are getting pretty barren. I know the genreal care for the...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, non-invasive Thunbergia alata
March 30, 2006 - I'm trying to find the proper name for Climbing Blackeyed Susan, or Blackeyed Susan Vine. We had one on a trellis and it was beautiful, but I'm told that it is an undesirable weed. Any info apprec...
view the full question and answer

Non-native acacias for Washington State
January 03, 2006 - Hello! I have been unable to find any sources for the seed of Prairie Acacia, Acacia angustissima var hirta. Var angustissima, from tropical America, is in cultivation, but I think it is tender to col...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Ornithogalum longibracteatum (Pregnant Onion)
June 27, 2007 - Dear Sir, I have a plant called a Pregnant Onion. It looks like an onion and it has babies develop on its body and the surface peals off like an onion. It's leaves grow to about a yard long and th...
view the full question and answer

Plant for eastern facing side of house in Washington
August 26, 2008 - I was considering putting some Lily of the Nile in front of the eastern facing side of my home. Is this plant a suitable choice for planting here in Eastern Washington?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center