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 23, 2013

From: Rochester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Pests
Title: Bug repelling plants from Rochester NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Western NY (zone 6?) and have a shady area where I hang my swing, but it's so buggy under the tree I can't use it! The soil is very dry, rocky. Is there a plant/shrub that I can grow there to repel insects?

ANSWER:

Frankly, it's not the plants that attract or repel insects; it's the conditions favorable for insects that are most often the problem. Usually we are asked for mosquito repelling plants. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that addresses that. It is from Austin, in Central Texas, which is somewhat dfferent from Monroe County, NY but the principle is the same. Another previous answer from North Carolina indicates one possible source of insects in your area. One more which deals with reputed mosquito-repelling plants.

Now, all you said was "insects," so let's see if we can find some more answers dealing with other possibilities:

Bees

Bees in trees

Bees attracted by aphid honeydew

Flies

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 but to the area in which those plants are being grown; in your case, Monroe County, NY. Since we are gardeners, not entomologists, this is somewhat out of our line of expertise, but are are pretty sure plants, native or not, are not the solution to your problem.

 

 

More Pests Questions

Black coloration on Star Magnolia is probably sooty mold.
November 21, 2008 - I have a star magnolia where 90% of the bark has turned black. It almost looks burned. The tree has decent buds set for next spring. What is causing the bark to turn black?
view the full question and answer

Perennial plants resistant to cutter ants in Aransas Pass, TX
January 12, 2010 - We are moving to Aransas Pass, Texas. Are there any perennial plants resistant to cutter ants?
view the full question and answer

Viburnum insect damage
October 08, 2009 - I have a highbush cranberry that gets covered in 1/4in black bugs every spring. It makes lots of holes in the leaves. What are they and how can I get rid of this insect.I have tried neem oil but it do...
view the full question and answer

Problems with beheaded non-native Gerbera daisies in Cooperstown, NY
May 31, 2009 - I planted my gerberas in my perennial bed - as usual. Something is beheading them and leaving the blooms along side the plant. Some of the bloom is eaten but most of it is right there. I have t...
view the full question and answer

Why are there gnats in my houseplants?
July 22, 2009 - I have flying brown gnats in my house plants. Can you tell me why?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center