En Español

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

Tuesday - January 14, 2014

From: Los Angeles , CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Help with non-native plants in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am growing some beads of pearl in my front yard in front of a pepper tree that has been around for over 150 years. My question is what can I do to get my beads of pearl to grow without cutting down the tree. If you have suggestions I would appreciate it. Also are there any products that you could recommend to protect the beads of pearl from the toxins of the tree? Thanks

ANSWER:

First of all:  "The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  "Native" means native to North America.  The two plants you mention in your question are NOT native to North America.  Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls) is native to southwestern Africa and Schinus molle (Peruvian or California Pepper Tree) is native to Peru.  Since our focus and expertise are plants native to North America, this means you are asking the wrong source for help with your problems of growing String of Pearls.  Probably your best source would be contacting the University of California Agricultural Extension Los Angeles County.  They work with many different types of plants—crop plants, urban horticulture, and garden cultivars—most of which are not native.  Two of their divisions—Center for Landscape and Urban Horticulture and Gardening with the UC Master Gardening Program—might be the most useful.   The Master Gardening program gives an e-mail address where you can ask questions about gardening.  Additionally, if you search online using the scientific names of the two plants, you will find a wealth of information about both of them there.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) winter-hardiness in Austin
February 09, 2010 - I have many bi-color irises (dietes bicolor), the freeze in Austin turned them brown. Can I trim them back without harming the plants? If trimming is acceptable, can you give me tips?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Damage to Yucca rostrata from Nottingham, England
February 26, 2014 - Hi, I have a yucca rostrata which has had its head snapped off in high winds (we live in Nottingham, England) we have left the trunk in the ground, will this re grow?? What is the best thing to do wit...
view the full question and answer

poor blooming on (non-native) plumbago
June 14, 2011 - I recently purchased several blue Plumbago plants that were covered in blooms. We planted them in our front beds that receive about 5 hours of morning sun then afternoon shade. I have watered them eve...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center