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
1 rating

Sunday - December 16, 2007

From: Tacoma, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Black leaves and dying kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My kinnikinnick has developed dark leaf spots and, in some cases the entire leaf has turned black or entire plants have turned black and died off. I'm worried about leaf spot, root rot and leaf gall as possibilities. My local plant spray services professional suggested it's a type of fungus which hasn't been identified yet. How do I figure out what this is and stop the spreading?

ANSWER:

Despite his name, Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't know everything, but does know how to get you to someone who should be able to help you. Mr. SP could speculate on what the problem with your Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) is, but I think it would be more efficient and more useful to you to contact someone in your area that has more practical experience with the plants and might have seen this problem already.

There are a couple of good sources for questions concerning plants native to the Northwest. One of the best is the University of Washington Botanic Gardens Elisabeth C. Miller Library Plant Answer Line.

Also, your Washington State University Pierce County Extension Agent Master Gardener's program has Ask a Master Gardener.

Good luck with your kinnikinnicks and may they soon look as healthy as those pictured below!

 


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Browning leaves on Ilex vomitoria in Houston
July 02, 2009 - Houston, we have a problem!!! I have a number of yaupon bushes that have been in my yard for years that have a large number of leaves turning a solid dark brown color. Any ideas of the cause?
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs turning brown in Dripping Springs TX
October 31, 2011 - Due to the extended drought - a number of trees and shrubs in our Dripping Springs area property have turned brown. Specifically: Live Oak; Agarita; Ash Juniper; Cedar Elm. Is this a dormant stag...
view the full question and answer

Red and black bugs on hibiscus
June 19, 2009 - I can't get your Keyword search to work.. I have tiny red and black bugs on my hibiscus. I have tried 2 different garden sprays and neither seems to kill the tiny bugs. They barely move on the pla...
view the full question and answer

Vascular wilt in Rhus virens
June 22, 2007 - Hi Smarty: Our evergreen sumac grew beautifully this spring (it is about 2 years old -- we got it at the LBJ Wildflower Center plant sale). Then its leaves suddenly drooped last month (May) and turn...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree dropping dead leaves
August 02, 2014 - I have a very old, tall pecan tree in my yard that has been dropping dead leaves for the last three weeks. My back yard looks like it is the Fall season. Do you have any insight on this?
view the full question and answer

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