En EspaŅol

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
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

Tuesday - July 08, 2008

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Question about non-native blue potato tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a blue potato tree that I planted last summer, the top looks dead but isn't, the bottom has grown into a bush, help what can I do?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants supposes you are talking about Solanum macranthum (syn: Solanum wrightii) (Blue potato tree or Brazilian potato tree), a native of Brazil. Here are more photos and more information. Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America and, therefore, we aren't going to be of much help to you with your non-native blue potato tree. If the top isn't really dead, wait awhile and perhaps it will leaf out again. If you don't mind having a bush instead of a tree, you could try trimming the top down to the area where it is leafy. Better yet, I suggest you join one of the gardening forums, such as the University of British Columbia (UBC) Botanical Garden Forum, The Garden Forums, GardenWeb Forums , or Helpful Gardener Gardening Forums where you might find someone who has a blue potato tree and has had a similar problem.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Care for non-native ice plant in Virginia
October 12, 2008 - Regarding the ice plant in Virginia - do you cut it back or just trim or just leave it alone before winter?
view the full question and answer

Planting location of non-native Japanese maple in Toronto
May 22, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty, I am in the region of Toronto, Canada. I just bought from nursery a "Red Select" Janpanese Maple, about 2' tall, still in its 1' pot. I intended to plant it in my front yard ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
June 25, 2009 - We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Japanese red maple exposed to full sun
August 16, 2008 - I planted a Dwarf Japanese Red Maple tree about 3 yrs ago. Until about a month ago it was partially shaded by a massive chestnut tree, that has since been cut down. Now the new growth on my tree appea...
view the full question and answer

Height of non-native gardenias
May 29, 2006 - How tall does a gardenia tree get?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center