Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - December 24, 2014

From: Raleigh, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with Purple Heart in Raleigh, NC
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I was hoping you could help me with an indoor/outdoor houseplant issue. I have a purple heart, that lives outside in the summers and indoors in the winters. I brought it in a few weeks ago and am noticing large gray raised circles on his leaves, too large to be scale. It's causing the leaves to wilt and it starts with the leaves closest to the roots and moves outward. I can't identify the issue and don't know how to treat it. Thus far the internet has been no help in identification of the disease. I've had this particular plant for about 4 years, and I really don't want to lose it.

ANSWER:

Purple Heart is a common name of the plant Setcreasea pallida. It is a native to Mexico , and considered by some to be invasive. It is also known as Tradescantia pallida. Click here  for more info.

It is almost impossible to diagnose plant diseases from a written description, so I’m going to recommend that you contact the Wake County office of NC Cooperative Extension to find a knowledgeable person who can take a look at your Purple Heart and diagnose the problem.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Anacacho orchid not leafing out in Georgetown TX
April 18, 2013 - February 2012 I planted 2 4-ft anacacho orchids which did well. This spring, they have yet to leaf out or even bud. There is green, however, when I scratch the stems and some suckers at the bottom of ...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Ash drooping?
June 22, 2009 - Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are we...
view the full question and answer

Problems with purple passion flower
September 04, 2007 - Hello, I live in La Place, Louisiana (30 miles west of New Orleans). In March 2007, I planted a purple passion flower (maypop). During the spring it thrived and was covered with brilliant green le...
view the full question and answer

Effect of heavy rains on Lindheimer Muhly
May 04, 2015 - It is April 2015, in San Antonio we've had very heavy rains recently. My Lindheimer muhly, which was looking beautiful, has now turned brown all over. Is this normal or is this a problem?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.