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

Sunday - October 12, 2008

From: Spotsylvania, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care for non-native ice plant in Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Regarding the ice plant in Virginia - do you cut it back or just trim or just leave it alone before winter?


We found this very confusing-there seem to be several different botanical names for these plants, all of which are referred to as "ice plant." The one characteristic they seem to share is that they are all non-native to North America, apparently originating in South Africa.

Due to the large volume of questions Mr. Smarty Plants has been receiving, we are asking that questions be confined to plants native to North America, which is the focus of the work done by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. You might want to read this Dave's Garden Forum on Delosperma cooperi, one of the botanical names for ice plant, and perhaps follow that to other sites in Google for information.


More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning non-native Japanese maple
June 03, 2008 - Can you tell me how to properly prune a Japanese maple?
view the full question and answer

Preservation of a non-native Norfolk pine after hurricane damage
October 11, 2008 - I had a 25ft. Norfolk pine blow down during hurricane. I have the top 6ft.in water living after 3 weeks. Can I plant this hoping it will survive? Do I need to cut into the trunk or just trim back the ...
view the full question and answer

Japanese lilac trees in Lehi UT
July 31, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, We live in Utah and this past spring planted three Japanese Lilac Trees in the lawn next to the deck hoping they would one day provide some shade. They are planted in full sun ...
view the full question and answer

When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
February 10, 2010 - When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native dracaena potted plant
February 04, 2008 - Last summer I was given a corn plant that stands about 6ft tall. About 2 weeks ago it began to flower. Over time I've had maybe 3 or 4 of these plants and never had any of them bloomed. Is this no...
view the full question and answer

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