Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Tuesday - May 19, 2009

From: Denton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native impatiens in Denton, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, 4 weeks ago I planted a shady bed (2'x10') with impatiens for the third year in-a-row. Previously, the plants thrived & bloomed till November. Three weeks ago, something that looked like a thin layer of white salt appeared on the leaves and stems of 2 of the plants. We've had, at least, 2-3 days of rain a week since then. After each rain, the "salt" appeared on another 2-3 plants and now has spread the length of the bed, including on my large purple wandering jew (and on the leaf mulch surrounding the plants). After the "salt" is wet it looks like brown sand with 2 tiny "antennae." It doesn't cover each plant, just about a third, and, so far, hasn't affected blooming or growth. I am most concerned about it spreading to the rest of my garden, separated by a 2' sidewalk.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Since Impatiens wallerana is native to Africa, from Tanzania to Mozambique, it will not appear in our Native Plant Database. We found an excellent website from the University of California Integrated Pest Management site on Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Impatiens wallerana. On the upper right hand side of this webpage are two columns of links to "Invertebrates" (bugs) and "Diseases". Follow each of those links, all of which have pictures that will help you identify your problem. There are also suggestions for treatment. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
June 25, 2012 - How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
view the full question and answer

Watering for Scarlett Milkweed in Florida
October 18, 2008 - I have a Scarlett Milkweed and it was doing very well until this last week. It now has yellow leaves that are falling off and no flowers. It says on the tag that the water is low once it is establishe...
view the full question and answer

Non-native photinias in Monroe NY
April 11, 2012 - Two Questions: Is the weather too cold to plant red tip photinias in Monroe NY? What is a good alternative evergreen shrub to hide chain link fence?
view the full question and answer

Native plants of Rome
February 22, 2009 - I am researching the native plants of Rome but I can't get anything get anything else besides olives. Can you help me to find some more?
view the full question and answer

Will Bermuda grass survive a drought-induced dormancy?
August 12, 2015 - If I stop watering a Bermuda grass lawn and let it go dormant, will it green up again when it rains again?
view the full question and answer

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