En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - December 09, 2012

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Problems with mature Blue Agave in Kenya
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a mature Agave plant and there is a thin black liquid that looks like oil starting to appear on the leaves. The plant plant seems to be dying (from the bottom up). (The plant is a blue Agave and is growing at our house in Kenya)

ANSWER:

That's interesting. How in the world did a Blue Agave get to Kenya? With all of the international restrictions on the movement of plant material, we're just surprised it made it there. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America (excluding Mexico) but to the area in North America in which they are being grown.

This article from In Search of the Blue Agave will give you far more information than we can. When reading that article, scroll down to "Diseases and Pests of the Blue Agave" where several diseases, including fusarium wilt, are described that could be the source of the problem. Also, if your agave has flowered in the last year, it is dying because it consumed a great deal of energy to flower and, like all agaves, then dies. Since it is native to neither North America nor Kenya, but rather to Mexico, we really have no idea what environmental problems there might be.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Why aren't the Caesalpinia species in the Native Plant Database
June 07, 2013 - Why doesn't the Wildflower Center list Caesalpinia in its plant database? I grow 3 species in my garden with no coddling: C. mexicana, C. gilliesii, and C. pulcherrima. I underst...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014 - We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
view the full question and answer

Yard Trees for Burleson, TX
July 24, 2011 - We need to replace 2 mature pear trees in our front yard, north side of the house in Burleson, TX. We are looking for faster growing trees that will last for decades that resist disease in clay soil....
view the full question and answer

Sad Germanders in Johnson City Texas
September 16, 2011 - I have some grey bush germanders that never seem to do well although they did at first when I planted them four years ago. They have sun and dappled shade on the south side of the house. A friend in ...
view the full question and answer

Browning of non-native Plectranthus in Dallas
November 28, 2010 - I live in Dallas and planted 'Mona Lavender' which is now brown and limp after overnight temps in the low 30's. Is it dead or will it come back? Do I need to cover these plants during the winter m...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center