Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 Shrubs Questions

Fragrant foundation plants for sunny, dry area in Illinois
August 26, 2009 - We need suggestions of what to plant on the south side of our house heave sun and rather dry soil. We just took out old dead bushes. Would prefer something that flowers and smells nice that would gr...
view the full question and answer

Can animals eat bottlebrush buckeye without being poisoned?
June 13, 2013 - Can deer, bear and wild turkey and squirrels eat the nuts and leaves from the bottlebrush buckeye shrub without being posioned by it.
view the full question and answer

Further information on Melochia tomentosa in San Antonio
May 29, 2009 - Information in your database is limited for Melochia tomentosa. I would appreciate any further information you can provide such as requirements for sunlight, soils, water,etc.
view the full question and answer

Yucca rostrata needs some help in Austin, TX.
September 16, 2013 - We planted an expensive 5-6 foot Yucca rostrata last fall. It bloomed beautifully in the spring. We installed an irrigation link to water the recently planted areas with succulents, viburnums, spart...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a garden in Panama City, FL
May 10, 2013 - I live in zone 9 in Florida. We are looking for plants which will be attractive all year long for the front of our house's landscaping which faces north. I need a specimen bush which doesn't get ov...
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.