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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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Saturday - August 17, 2013

From: Chappells, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pests, Vines
Title: White sticky stuff on muscadine grape vines from Chappells SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Muscadine vine has white sticky substance on leaves and vines, what is it?

ANSWER:

This sounds like aphids. Read this article from the University of California Integrated Pest Management Series on Aphids. Particularly note this paragraph:

"Low to moderate numbers of leaf-feeding aphids aren't usually damaging in gardens or on trees. However, large populations can turn leaves yellow and stunt shoots; aphids can also produce large quantities of a sticky exudate known as honeydew, which often turns black with the growth of a sooty mold fungus. Some aphid species inject a toxin into plants, which causes leaves to curl and further distorts growth. A few species cause gall formations."

Since Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine) is largely a product of Southeast North America, please read this article from the University of Florida IFAS Extension Insect Pests on Grapes in Florida. Note this paragraph and look at the accompanying illustration:

"Grapevine Aphid, Aphis illinoisensis (Shimer)

Aphids feed on the foliage and vines of grape plants, but more serious injury results from the infestation of the developing fruit clusters. Dry weather contributes to the growth of aphid populations.

The grapevine aphid (Figure 6) is usually not important enough to necessitate specific treatments. Good production practices result in grapevines that are of sufficient vigor to tolerate some attack by aphids. Aphids are attacked by predators like ladybird beetle adults and larvae, and lacewing larvae that regulate their population."

 

From the Image Gallery


Muscadine
Vitis rotundifolia

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