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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 - June 20, 2013

From: Comfort, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Insects attacking Gregg's Blue Mistflower from Comfort TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a beautiful stand of Gregg's Blue Mist flower that have been attacked by an unknown insect. The new growth is curled and stunted and it is not flowering. I'm not alone..I've seen the Gregg's Mist at the Wildflower Center and fellow gardeners here in the Hill Country having the same problem. Help! What is the culprit and how do we deal with it?

ANSWER:

According to this USDA Plant Profile Map Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's mistflower) only grows natively in Hudspeth County in far west Texas. That doesn't mean it won't grow in Kendall County or Central Texas where the Wildflower Center is, of course it does grow both places. But it could indicate some soil or rainfall problem; insects will often attack a plant weakened by environmental problems. So, first, let's look at the environment this plant prefers:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Gravelly, calcareous soils."

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question, also from Central Texas, that addresses the same question. In some of our research, we saw suggestions that this plant might do better in part shade in the hot afternoon, and also that it might need to be watered twice a week and required very good drainage.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

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