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
1 rating

Wednesday - October 20, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Foam on Salvia greggii in Austin
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I have 7 Salvia greggii plants. I am seeing a white foam like substance on tip of all of them (where flowers use to be). Any suggestions on what is happening to the plants?

ANSWER:

Sounds like spitllebugs. 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 web site with more details: Spittlebugs

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with a two year old persimmon tree in Fredricksburg, TX.
May 22, 2013 - Hi Mr/Ms Smarty Plants, We planted a 4-ft Texas Persimmon, Diospyros texana, 2-years ago, with wonderful leaf and fruit production since. We recently had a hail storm (5/9/13) and although mos...
view the full question and answer

Health of pond cypress
April 08, 2005 - Is there a common reason pond cypress trees vary greatly in their apparent health in similar conditions? I have 7 of them on my property, only two look healthy, one died and fell down recently. The lo...
view the full question and answer

Chlorotic leaves on yaupon in Austin
April 04, 2011 - My yaupon holly looks chlorotic, it is 7 years old, I do not feed it, just a little seaweed occasionally. I am a totally organic gardener.
view the full question and answer

A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
May 08, 2012 - We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out...
view the full question and answer

Browning leaves on recently planted chinkapin oak in Rockwall TX
June 09, 2010 - I just planted a chinkapin oak that is about 1 1\2 inches thick last week and now some of the leaves are turning brown. Does that mean its dying? Do you have any tips that I could use to protect it?
view the full question and answer

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

Bibliography

Texas bug book: the good, the bad, and the ugly (2005) Howard Garrett and C. Malcolm Beck

Search More Titles in Bibliography