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
1 rating

Saturday - March 05, 2011

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Control of Fusarium wilt on Wax Myrtle
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Do you have any new reports on how to control the Fusarium Wilt disease to Wax Myrtle Plants?

ANSWER:

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) was reported to be infected by Fusarium oxysporum or other Fusarium species in central and south Florida back in the 1990's.  Mr. Smarty Plants has found several mentions of that observation, some as recent as 2009, but no effective treatment has been reported.  The fungus often enters the plant through cut or damaged places in the root system.  It grows into the stems, blocking free passage of water and nutrients.  According to most reports, the plant eventually dies.

You may delay the demise of your plant by pruning off the dead and dying branches.  Pruning small branches in the morning would give the cut ends time to dry during the day.  Larger cut stems should be painted to prevent possible further transmission of the fungus by insects.

It may be more desirable to simply replace the plant.  If you do that and need to have the replacement in the same location, consider treating the soil with a fungicide or solarizing the soil to try and kill the Fusarium organism.  The fungicide Mycostop is recommended to protect against Fusarium, but I doubt that it would save an already infected plant.  If you can, plant the replacement in a different spot, hopefully one free of the fungus.  Make certain that the new plant that you purchase has no damage to the root system, and use only moderately enriched soil. High nitrogen encourages active growth of molds.  Make sure the new plant does not become water-stressed, since this would weaken its resistance to infection.

Wax myrtle is usually considered to be a hardy plant with few disease problems.  If you can get a healthy replacement off to a good start it should take care of itself.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Oak roots damaged by ax from Austin
July 03, 2013 - Hello. I am attempting to create my own tiny copy of the Wildflower Center within my yard. I'm using all native, drought tolerant plants. My front yard is full of live oaks. I used a sod cutter la...
view the full question and answer

Newly planted nuttall oaks from Houston TX
November 16, 2012 - I recently purchased two Nuttall Oak Trees in Houston Texas (October). They are both 15' or taller. I planted them within 24 hours of being delivered, watered them in, staked them, and within 3-4 d...
view the full question and answer

Firecracker plants not growing in Ft. Worth
June 09, 2010 - I live in Fort Worth, TX and last fall planted several firecracker plants. It's now June and they're not growing. How can I tell if they are still alive?
view the full question and answer

Growth on underside of squash plant leaves
August 22, 2009 - I have a mold in my garden that is oval in shape and has spikes growing out of it, the color is yellow. This mold (yup it's not a bug I checked) is all over the underside of my squash plants. Any hel...
view the full question and answer

Waxy deposits on Magnolia fuscata from Ethel LA
June 18, 2013 - I have a 4yr old Magnolia Fascata (aka banana shrub)- I noticed that it has small oval shaped yellow waxy deposits on the branches.. I have also noticed small black ants on the branches. The unknown d...
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