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

Saturday - August 27, 2011

From: Pueblo West, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Butterfly bushes and weed killer in Pueblo West CO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 3 previously healthy butterfly bushes that have one by one developed masses of tiny yellowish-green compact leaves. The entire bush went from its normal healthy appearance to something that resembles the woolly butterfly bush. I do not see any evidence of a bug infestation. Could it be a result of weed killers applied to the surrounding rocks?

ANSWER:

You answered your own question, which we appreciate. Usually, with a question like this, we have to ask rhetorical questions of our correspondent, like is the plant in the right area, is it getting the right amount of sunlight and water or has it been exposed to an herbicide? You always need to remember that no spray, herbicide or pesticide, is going to be confined to the plant you are spraying it on. Even weed and feed fertilizer spread on a neighboring lawn can damage or kill adjoining ornamental plants. The weed killer in the "weed and feed" is for dicots, or broad-leaved plants, which the butterfly bush is. Will the plants survive? We have no idea. If their roots are strong and a fatal dose of the herbicide did not transfer to the roots, the plant might die back this year, and come back up from the roots again next year. Our advice? Don't do that again.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Insects on hybrid 'Ann' magnolia in Morrow OH
June 17, 2010 - I have an Ann Magnolia. It is covered in all kinds of stinging insects and flies. This has never happened before. Is this a common problem for the tree? What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Brown spots in St. Augustine grass
July 05, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I are in the Air Force and were recently moved to Cibolo Texas. We built a home and hired a landscaper to finish the yard May 07 (with irrigation system). We laid d...
view the full question and answer

Lantana in hanging basket not blooming in Dover PA
June 23, 2010 - We have a lantana Bandana trailing gold in a hanging planter in full sun. It hardly blooms. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Moth using Agarita as its larval food in New Braunfels, TX
March 27, 2009 - What moth uses agarita as its larval food? It is a perennial problem that can nearly defoliate the specimen and severely limit its flower production.
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

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