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

Tuesday - July 10, 2012

From: BOCA RATON, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Sticky sap (honeydew) on car
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

MY CAR IS CONSTANTLY COVERED WITH STICKY SAP. I LIVE IN AN AREA WITH MANY COCONUT PALMS AND OTHER TREES. COULD THE SAP BLOW AROUND EVEN THOUGH I KEEP CHANGING THE PARKING?

ANSWER:

It sounds as  if you are experiencing the onslaught of honeydew. Honeydew is a waste-product of aphids and other sap-sucking insects such as scale. As honeydew is excreted by the sap-sucking insects, it becomes airborne and falls and coats any surface upon which it lands in the area.

This article from University of Minnesota Extension (use this link to get to the Sap Removal Article), another from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, and a third from the University of California Davis  give a rather thorough explanation of honey dew and aphids, and their effects on plants. You may also notice blackening of the plants under the trees because of an infestation of sooty mold that grows on the honeydew.

If you Google “car covers” on the web, you will find products that can protect your car from this sticky mess.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Effect of unusual wet weather on desert willows
July 23, 2007 - I live in North Central Texas and have 3 beautiful Desert willow trees that are usually in full bloom. I've kept them pruned to form a nice full tree shape but now they are losing leaves and looking ...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify leaf extensions on the leaves of an elm sapling in Houston, Tx.
May 22, 2013 - I have an elm sapling which grows strange leave extensions on its leaves. Can I send you a picture? Tree looks healthy
view the full question and answer

Natural lifespan of wild plum trees
May 12, 2008 - We have a small border of Wild Plum Trees in our yard. Every year it seem that one or two of the biggest trees die. Do they have a specific life span? We transplanted the trees/bushes from the panh...
view the full question and answer

Red and black bugs on hibiscus
June 19, 2009 - I can't get your Keyword search to work.. I have tiny red and black bugs on my hibiscus. I have tried 2 different garden sprays and neither seems to kill the tiny bugs. They barely move on the pla...
view the full question and answer

Chlorotic leaves on yaupon in Austin
April 04, 2011 - My yaupon holly looks chlorotic, it is 7 years old, I do not feed it, just a little seaweed occasionally. I am a totally organic gardener.
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