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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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Wednesday - July 11, 2012

From: Alloway, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Dealing with aphids on milkweed plants in Alloway, NJ.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I planted milk weed for the Monarch butterfly. Every year it gets orange aphids that seem to suck out the juices and eventually kill the plant sooner than I like.

ANSWER:

The pest that you are dealing with is known as the Oleander Aphid (and also the Milkweed Aphid), Aphis nerii .

I will provide you with three links that can help make you an expert on on this little nuisance

University of Florida IFAS Extension; a thorough  description of the insect including control measures and photos.

gardenweb.com/forums: a forum discussion by people who are trying to grow milkweed in order to raise Monarch butterflies.

mymonarchguide.com : an interesting website with great photos for people who are interested in raising Monarch butterlies.

 

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