Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - August 15, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native invasive creeping fig on oak tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a creeping fig in a pot that sits next to an oak tree. It took to the tree as a trellis and looks beautiful. My question is: is it doing the tree any harm?

ANSWER:

Creeping fig (Ficus pumila), is an Asian native, and although not listed as an invasive plant, it can be very agressive. Once it has attached itself to a surface it is very difficult to remove. If it continues to spread up your oak and reaches the branches with leaves, it could be a serious competitor for sunlight and be a real threat to the health of your oak. Mr. SP recommends you remove it from the oak and train it to trail on the ground (or build a trellis for it). If you train it to trail on the ground, you will need to watch it and trim it to keep it from growing into areas where it isn't welcome.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native indoor palm in Guilford CT
April 08, 2012 - My question is I have an indoor palm plant that I have had for 7 yrs. It has grown from about a 5" plant to about 3' tall plant. The past few weeks the leaves are turning yellow & brown and lost abo...
view the full question and answer

Queen Palm Fertilization in Arizona
March 06, 2012 - I placed standard Miracle Grow in a root feeder device and inserted into the ground around all of my Queen Palms. Why have they taken a turn for the worse (furled tips on all new branches) Can you ov...
view the full question and answer

Lists of medicinal plants from New York City
April 11, 2014 - Do you know any resources for lists of medicinal plants native to New York? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Mosquito repellant plant?
January 18, 2009 - Is there such a thing as mosquito repellent plants? If so, what are they?
view the full question and answer

Damage to non-native Japanese maple
March 10, 2009 - I have a medium sized branch of a dwarf outdoor Japanese maple partially (about 70%) broken off. How can I fix it? What chemical/plant hormone/material can I use to initiate regrowth of the broken par...
view the full question and answer

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