Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - June 20, 2013

From: Ridgeway, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Diseases and Disorders, Pests
Title: White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC about seven months ago. For the past two weeks, each day there is more coverage of these white specks. Its leaf is completely purple on its underside but green with purple hairs on top. Is there something I can do for this plant invasion?

ANSWER:

Okay, the key word here is "unnamed." Not only is that simply not enough information for us to go on but most house plants are non-native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown; in your case, Fairfield County, SC. Most homes are very hostile environments to plants: no sunlight, dry air, excessive heat or cooling for the plants and both animals and humans disturbing them. Here are some websites that could help you:

Better Homes and Gardens A-Z listing of houseplants with pictures

Suitable Plants for Indoor Gardening

Gardener's Supply Houseplants Pests and Diseases

Hopefully, from these sites you can find out what your houseplant is and what is ailing it.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning pink skullcap and rock daisy from Austin
February 06, 2013 - I have some pink skullcap and rock daisy and other plants in my yard that never entirely die back over the winter. Can you tell me what kind of pruning is appropriate? How far can/should I cut them ...
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

When will non-native Confederate Jasmine bloom in Austin
March 03, 2014 - I have 2 large Confederate Jasmine plants growing in 3 gallon pots on either side of an arbor I built for my friends wedding. The wedding is in 1 month and I'm wondering if this jasmine typically bl...
view the full question and answer

Possible invasiveness of non-native Eragrostis curvula
February 04, 2008 - I have just moved to Keller, TX and am trying to establish a xeriscape plan for our property. I chose to plant weeping love grass as I learned it was a native plant and did not require fertilizing, a...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Chinaberry tree from Tucson AZ
September 05, 2013 - I have a 30+ year old Chinaberry tree and this year the branches are much sparser with leaves and there are a lot of small dead branches. Should I fertilize and what should I use? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.