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
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

Problems with non-native navel orange
October 03, 2008 - Hello Green Guru, Question: Why hasn't Navel Orange Tree grown or sprouted new branches? It's 3 years old and is about 5 feet tall and has remained this size. It hasn't grown at all. It only ha...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for southwest exposure in Tulsa OK
April 24, 2008 - I want to plant something in a bed on the South side of my house with some Western exposure. The space is in a bed that would share space with a Red Tip Photinia (next to the house)& liriope( on the ...
view the full question and answer

Root ball disintegrating on Arroyo sweetwood from Dripping Springs TX
May 11, 2013 - I just purchased a arroyo sweetwood in a 5 gallon container and when I went to put it in the ground the root ball completely fell apart. I put it in the ground and watered it really good. What are its...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Ruellia brittonia in Raleigh NC
August 23, 2009 - I have discovered Mexican Petunias this year. I LOVE THEM! Beautiful plant. However, they are so tall and after a rain are leaning badly. Should I tie them back? Will they get stronger as they ma...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Citrus Suckers
October 06, 2014 - Mr. Smarty Plants, you are the only person that has "not" insisted that the little balls on Satsuma and lemon trees were clumps of bugs. They are surely what you described in the answer to my previo...
view the full question and answer

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