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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - March 04, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Thorns on non-native orange trees
Answered by: Damon Waitt


I just moved into a new home that has orange trees in the yard. The tree trunks and limbs are thorny. What kind of oranges are they? How should I care for them? Is it ok to cut off the thorns so they don't prick passerbyers?


You most likely have one of the many different varieties of sweet orange or Citrus sinensis which can be traced back to China and Southeast Asia. There are about 16 Citrus species and they are all small evergreen trees and shrubs, usually with spines on trunks and branches. The genus includes lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges.

The Plants for a Future website has information about caring for your orange trees and, yes, you can remove the thorns without harming the tree.


More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native closet plant
November 23, 2008 - I have three closet plants. All are putting on new growth and even blooming. However, the leaves are turning brown from the edges. What is the problem?
view the full question and answer

Care of Dracaena fragrans, cultivar
July 09, 2007 - I just recently purchased a tree which I was told was called a Dracaena or also corn plant. I can not seem to find a site that will inform me on how to take care of this tree. If you can please let ...
view the full question and answer

Seeds for India from Guilderland NY
August 15, 2010 - I have Green Cross “Non Profitable” trust in TamilNadu India. We are looking for free seeds from Government and other NGO foundations. Moto: Global Vowing awareness program and our volunteers help ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive rescue grass in meadow garden in Smithville TX
September 20, 2012 - Despite numerous efforts, a solid field of cool weather rescue grass keeps desired wildflower and grass seeds from successfully growing on my "vacant" lot in town. I plan to I put out a 6 ml plasti...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem and Coastal bermuda for horses
April 02, 2008 - Is blue stem grass mixed with coastal good for horses?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center