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

Wednesday - August 10, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests
Title: Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stuff on them that is killing them slowly. I have researched on the internet what this might be but nothing looks the similar to what mine has. They almost look like white pill bugs. When I touch the plant they usually fall off. I have also found some on my house around the plants. Please help. How can I get rid of this stuff and save my plants?

ANSWER:

When Mr. Smarty Plants hears about white powdery stuff on plants he thinks of powdery mildew, but since you mentioned the white bugs, he thinks its probably mealy bugs.

I’m going to provide you with several links that describe the pests, and tell how to control them.

Mealy Bugs
  Tropical Plants Library on Line - describes  several insect pests and means to control them.

  ehow.com Home - tells how to get rid of mealy bugs

  University of Florida IFAS Extension - more information about scale insects and mealy bugs

Powdery Mildew
  University of Ohio -good description with photos

  University of California -good description of the problem with solutions

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Cultivar of Cercis Canadensis from Haskell OK
May 16, 2012 - We have a Hearts of Gold Redbud that first had dark edges to many of its leaves (about 2 weeks after planting). It now has multiple leaves w/ medium-dark brown spots on them. Are we looking at some ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on lantana in Dallas
September 14, 2005 - For several years, the lantana plants in my backyard in Dallas grew and bloomed all Summer and Fall until the first real cold snap. I've loved having a native plant that didn't need constant care a...
view the full question and answer

Dying foliage on non-native Otto Luyken Laurel from Georgetown KY
April 09, 2014 - I have 5 luken laurel scrubs planted around foundation. They have done very well until this last winter..the foilage is now brown and crispy. Will they come back? Do I need to prune back the damage...
view the full question and answer

Pruning live oak in Austin
April 28, 2012 - Hi, We recently purchased a house in South Austin and there is a huge Live Oak Tree about 6 feet from the back door (so so so love it!) The only real issues I have so far are: 1. Needing to trim a ...
view the full question and answer

Determine oak wilt in red oaks
December 12, 2007 - I am concerned my red oaks have oak wilt. How can I tell what is wrong with them?
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