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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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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!

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Friday - June 26, 2015

From: Alta Loma, CA
Region: California
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Milky Substance on Salvia greggii
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

The Salvia greggii that I have in the front yard has a milky substance on it ... and the plants are not doing well. Is this some kind of fungi or disease? What can I do to "cure" it? Thank you! Liane

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants had a similar question previously about a white substance on Salvia greggii and

Mike Tomme said that it sounds like spittlebugs. A spittlebug is an insect that produces a white froth on plants that resembles spittle. Don't worry though, that foam is not actually spit. It comes from the other end of the bug.

The foam serves to hide the bug from predators (including gardeners), protect them from extreme temperatures and prevent them from drying out.

Although they do suck the sap from a plant, most experts agree spittlebugs do not do enough harm to warrant extreme control measures. If you want to get rid of them, a blast of water from the hose usually will do the trick.

Here's a website with more details: Spittlebugs
Also here is our website with details about growing Salvia greggii.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

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