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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.

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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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Thursday - July 07, 2011

From: Washington,, DC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests
Title: Mealy bugs on plants in Washington, DC
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, There is this white stuff, looking like snow flakes, that is attacking my office plants. I use gasduster to blow it off of them, but that does not stop it from reappearing. What is it and how can I protect my plants against it? I feel so sorry for my plant. Please advise. Thank you,

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that your plants may have been invaded by mealy bugs. Go to this link and scroll down to the mealy bug pictures to see if these are the villains. This link from Iowa State University will tell you more about mealy bugs, and this link from guide -to-houseplants.com has tips for getting rid of them.

Using the gasduster is probably enhancing the spread of the mealy bugs to other plants in your office.

 

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