En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Black bugs on Autumn Joy sedum in Dublin OH

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

Catalpa and maple with dying branches in Wisconsin
July 07, 2008 - We have a northern catalpa in our front yard. It's been there for about three years now and is probably 25' high. This year it appeared to be doing great. It flowered and then all of sudden last ...
view the full question and answer

How to Control Pests on Plants for Sale
May 15, 2014 - I am renting a closed spot at a flea market, and am having trouble with several infestations at once, and I am not sure how to control them. I am currently having trouble with aphids, whiteflies, and ...
view the full question and answer

Something dripping from red oak in Austin
July 30, 2012 - There is a large red oak outside my apartment. The leaves are shiny and covered with what appears to be oil. The ground underneath is coated with this also. When I parked under the tree my car beca...
view the full question and answer

Controlling slugs in a Pacific Northwest strawberry patch
February 04, 2013 - Would love to plant various varieties of strawberries on a bank for erosion control and ground cover. How can we keep the slugs at bay? We are in the the Pacific Northwest
view the full question and answer

Native nightshade that is a host to hornworm-hawk's eye moth
October 03, 2013 - Is there a native nightshade that serves as a host to tomato hornworm/hawks eye moth? I like the moth and as a gardener do not like the hornworm. I would like to have a patch of not terribly toxic nig...
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