Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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

Wednesday - October 12, 2005

From: Buena Vista, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Smarty Plants on fungal attack
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have three plants that have been getting fungus on their soil and I've tried to get rid of it by scraping it off, watering it less and more sunlight. It's two coleus and a begonia. I don't know what else I can do to get rid of it. The fungus attacked the base of one of the plants, and I'd really like to be rid of it. Once I get rid of it, is there a way I can keep it away?

ANSWER:

Since both coleus and begonias (neither are native species) are easy to propagate by cuttings, I recommend that you do that. Just take some cuttings of healthy top-growth from your plants and start them in water or sterile rooting media in a warm window with bright, indirect sunlight.

Remove the diseased plants along with the top two inches or so of soil and replace with clean topsoil or potting media. Don't place discarded, diseased plants in compost, they should be thrown in the trash or burned. Otherwise, it sounds like you are taking the right steps to avoid most fungal problems. Before using any kind of fungicide, you should first positively identify the pathogen. Your county extension agent can assist you with that if you desire.

Here are a couple links that you might find useful. The first, House Plants: Proper Care and Problem Solving is an excellent information page of North Dakota State University. Another, Houseplant Diseases and Disorders is published by Clemson University Extension.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why did my Prairie Flax plant die in Austin, TX?
April 27, 2012 - Hello, We planted 4 prairie flax last fall in garden. They were all growing nicely until last month when I found that one of them has completely dried up and died. The plants are planted together a...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Cleyera and Red-tip photinia
June 01, 2008 - I planted a row of Cleyera in a bed that receives sunlight for about 3 hours during the middle of the day. My problem is that a number of the plants are dying. It begins with the leaves on one small...
view the full question and answer

Pustules on geranium
March 28, 2005 - I have a geranium that has developed oblong red/brown pustules/raised bumps on the undersides of the lower leaves. The foliage around the bumps is stil green but everything else has yellowed
view the full question and answer

Plant to repel snakes
September 23, 2008 - name of a plant or plants that repell snakes.
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

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