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

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

Wednesday - July 02, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native fig problems in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus


We have a large fig tree in our yard. It has been healthy since we bought the house in 2006. But in the last week or so, the leaves have turned yellow and have wilted. It is full of fruit. I'm afraid we are going to lose this crop, if not the entire tree, if we don't do anything.


We wish we could be more helpful, but the focus of our research and the extent of our expertise are limited to those plant species native to North America. Common fig (Ficus carica) is native to Eurasia and Africa.  Your county's Agrilife Extension Service office should be able to help you with identifying the cause of the problem and perhaps with a treatment or solution.


More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native lilac in a pot in New Hampshire
May 18, 2009 - I live in an apartment with a balcony that gets morning sun but is in the shade by 3 pm. Can I plant a lilac in a pot? What perennial would do well in New Hampshire? I love lilacs and would like to...
view the full question and answer

Invasive mandevilla from Chula Vista CA
December 10, 2012 - How can I rid my yard of mandevilla that has invaded from my neighbor's yard?
view the full question and answer

Problems in non- native weeping willow in Spokane WA
June 21, 2010 - My wife and I have a weeping willow tree that has done well for two years. This year some of the branches are loosing their leaves in late spring in Spokane, WA. I though it was from the wind but ha...
view the full question and answer

Problems with mature Blue Agave in Kenya
December 09, 2012 - I have a mature Agave plant and there is a thin black liquid that looks like oil starting to appear on the leaves. The plant plant seems to be dying (from the bottom up). (The plant is a blue Agave an...
view the full question and answer

Shriveling agave from Miami Florida
August 23, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Most upset - My beautiful agave (wish I could have submitted an image) has stared to misbehave. The once first liquid filled leaves, are starting to look more like the skin ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center