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

Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
April 10, 2013 - Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
view the full question and answer

Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
June 12, 2007 - I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
view the full question and answer

Black bugs on yucca from Aledo TX
April 14, 2013 - We have flowering yuccas that have thousands of small black bugs that seem to be hurting the plant. They are not on any other foliage in our beds. What do I use to get rid of them??
view the full question and answer

Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
August 10, 2011 - I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stu...
view the full question and answer

Catalpa and maple with dying branches in Wisconsin
July 07, 2008 - We have a northern catalpa in our front yard. It's been there for about three years now and is probably 25' high. This year it appeared to be doing great. It flowered and then all of sudden last ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center