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

Lake Plantings and Geese
May 10, 2013 - I live on a small lake in Wichita, KS and we are over run with Canada geese. I would like to plant flowers around my patio (which is not allowed to be fenced off). Are there any flowers or plants that...
view the full question and answer

Fungus gnats on house plant in Edwardsville IL
July 16, 2009 - I recently purchased a Trailing Perennial Plant, and I am seeing a lot of gnats flying in my house. Could this be the problem?
view the full question and answer

Rabbit-proof Plants for Texas
July 03, 2014 - Do you have a list of flowers that rabbits will eat or will not eat so I know what to plant or avoid? I have a year-round rabbit population in my neighborhood and wish to co-exist with them without t...
view the full question and answer

Round green seed pods are likely leaf galls
May 31, 2013 - While walking on a tree-lined dirt road after a mid-May storm, I noticed several seed pods but could not locate the plant they fell off of. The pods were round, light green and looked like large round...
view the full question and answer

Turk's Cap and Pavonia insect problems
June 27, 2015 - My Turk's cap and Pavonia lasiopetala (rock rose) plants both have quite a few leaves that are skeletonized in appearance. I do not see any insects on the underside of the leaves. What could be cau...
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