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
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

Problems with morning glory in Tennessee.
June 09, 2009 - I recently moved to Tennessee from Michigan. On my property I have a perennial morning glory. This year the leaves are all bubbly, the stems have white hard stuff on them and there is a brown hard t...
view the full question and answer

What to do with a sickly American elm in Austin, Texas
September 27, 2010 - I have an American elm that is about 6 feet tall in my yard. It is has not grown quickly this year--as compared to another American Elm that I have in another spot that is about 3 feet tall and has m...
view the full question and answer

Why are my lemon Cyprees trees turning Black?
April 01, 2010 - I have 3 lemon Cypress plants - all are about 6 feet tall. One of them has started turning black on one side - like it's been burnt. The inside of the plant is also turning black. I assume something ...
view the full question and answer

Overwatering and fertilization of whiteleaf manzanita
July 27, 2007 - Hi, I have an Arctostaphylos Dr. Hurd, southern California coast, several years old, 10 feet, that has a few large branches with yellowing and spotted leaves... also dropping many. causes? remedy? sh...
view the full question and answer

Exposed area on native elm in Texas
December 26, 2008 - I have an elm tree starting to show signs of dying. It has an exposed area at the trunk of the tree turning white. When it rains there is a 6-inch strip (the width of the exposed area) running up th...
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