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

Friday - May 27, 2011

From: Dublin, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests
Title: Black bugs on Autumn Joy sedum in Dublin OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How to get rid of tiny black bugs on Autumn Joy sedum?

ANSWER:

We always like to start out knowing what kind of plant we are talking about. In our Native Plant Database there are 18 species of the genus sedum but only one of them, Sedum ternatum (Wild stonecrop) is native to Ohio. This really doesn't matter, as we already knew that 'Autumn Joy' is a selection of some native sedum, or possibly a hybrid of Sedum telephium. They are all members of the Crassulaceae (Stonecrop) family, and have pretty similar growing conditions and pest problems. We had a little trouble finding any information admitting that sedums HAD problems with insects, but these two articles give us some clues.

From Washington State University Extension for Whatcom County Stonecrop - says few pests bother with sedums, although slugs will sometimes take a bite. That is not surprising in view of the fact that the sedum characteristically grows near the ground, where the slugs are grocery shopping.

eHow Home Sedum Plant Pests - concedes that there are several bugs that will damage sedum, but the two it mentions that are good possibilities are aphids (they attack everything), and fungus gnats. Because you specifically mentioned tiny black bugs, we're thinking that might win the prize. The fungus gnats actually originate in damp soil around the plant, and this article mentions a couple of ways to deal with it.

Since the fungus gnat became our likeliest suspect, we found another article All About Fungus Gnats which suggests, among other things, letting the soil dry out before you water it again.

 

 

More Pests Questions

Using cattail fluff to stuff pillows
April 22, 2007 - Me and my children filled a pillow case with cattail feathers today and brought it home. My mother says that it is going to get or attract bugs. Are there any dangers in this little project? Than...
view the full question and answer

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
October 26, 2009 - I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Infestation of shiny red and blue/black beetles
May 27, 2014 - I have an infestation of 1 cm long shiny red and blue/black beetles. They have red heads with black eyes and antenna, 2 (?) red spots on their sides, and a bluish black body. Before I kill them with ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with iguanas in Ft. Lauderdale FL
August 04, 2009 - I live on the intracoastal waterway near Ft. Lauderdale,FL and I am having problems with iguana. They will not eat lantana or buttercups; however is there a poisonous ground cover, preferable with fl...
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