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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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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.

 

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