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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 20, 2013

From: Ridgeway, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Diseases and Disorders, Pests
Title: White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC about seven months ago. For the past two weeks, each day there is more coverage of these white specks. Its leaf is completely purple on its underside but green with purple hairs on top. Is there something I can do for this plant invasion?

ANSWER:

Okay, the key word here is "unnamed." Not only is that simply not enough information for us to go on but most house plants are non-native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown; in your case, Fairfield County, SC. Most homes are very hostile environments to plants: no sunlight, dry air, excessive heat or cooling for the plants and both animals and humans disturbing them. Here are some websites that could help you:

Better Homes and Gardens A-Z listing of houseplants with pictures

Suitable Plants for Indoor Gardening

Gardener's Supply Houseplants Pests and Diseases

Hopefully, from these sites you can find out what your houseplant is and what is ailing it.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Growing Texas mountain laurel in a pot
March 07, 2016 - I have a really good friend who Mom pass away just recently and they were the best of friends. She loved her mother dearly and did tons of stuff together. Recently I posted a picture of a Mountain L...
view the full question and answer

Growing bluebonnets in pot in Flower Mound TX
November 01, 2011 - We received a package of bluebonnet seeds along with the DVD Wildflowers: Seeds of History as a gift. In the film, Andrea DeLong mentions that bluebonnets did not grow well in a rich organic soil. W...
view the full question and answer

A 3-6 ft. high overwintering container plant
November 08, 2011 - I live in Austin, Tx. and am looking for a plant/shrub that I can keep in a ceramic pot through out the winter. It can grow to from 3 feet to six feel.
view the full question and answer

Small tree for container near pool in Houston
June 24, 2010 - Can you recommend a small tree that I can grow in a pot for shade? Looking for minimal mess because it will be near the pool. How big should the pot be?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of closet plant
August 13, 2008 - I have a closet plant that is old and was doing fine and then started having droopy leaves. It needed to be in a larger pot so I transplanted into a larger pot with new potting soil. It continues to...
view the full question and answer

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