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 Pests Questions

Oaks emitting substance in Lakeway TX
August 14, 2012 - We have two large oak trees in our yard that are emitting a clear, very sticky, non-fragrant substance. The leaves are beginning to be covered as is our deck. Bees are now attracted and I am worried ...
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

What causes peach fruit to ooze sap?
July 27, 2009 - I have a peach tree at our new house. The peaches are small and yellow but appeared healthy. Now it looks like they are oozing or weeping sap out of several places on each one. I dont know if its a di...
view the full question and answer

Larvae swimming in water with plant cutting
September 09, 2010 - When you take a cutting from a plant and put it in water and bring it in your home a couple of days later you notice larvae swimming around, what is that?
view the full question and answer

Ants in vegetable garden in Muskogee OK
May 25, 2011 - I have ants in my vegetable garden this spring - I think because of all the rain. I think they are the culprits that ruined my spinach and swiss chard. They have left all the lettuces alone..but you...
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