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

Wednesday - February 18, 2009

From: Kihei, HI
Region: Hawaii
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Plants not native to North America in Hawaii
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do not know if you have any experience for Hawaii but here it goes. I live on Maui and have some coco palms, a line of 12, two of them right next to each other (15-20 ft). They are a decent shade of yellow, also the edges are kinda browned out on some leaves, I have just fertilized them with 15-15-15 pelletized fertilizer all around the water basin for them; just wondering if you think this will help or should I do something else.

ANSWER:

Our expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America and to the area in which they are being grown. In your case, we would be recommending plants native to Hawaii, which are probably not going to appear in our Native Plant Database. We also understand that there is a large problem with non-native invasives destroying the natural ecology of Hawaii. About the best we can do is search for some websites which might answer questions that we cannot, and hope that helps you.

As near as we can tell, what you refer to as "coco palm" is Cocos nucifera, coconut palm.  It has been imported and naturalized in very southern portions of Florida and Texas, and needs to be in an area where moisture is readily available. Two sites you might want to read are both from Floridata: Cocos nucifera and A History of the Coconut. As we suspected, this does not appear in our Native Plant Database and we have no experience with it. If we correctly understood, the  Floridata websites say there is a disease of the coconut palm called Lethal Yellowing which is, apparently, well, lethal. 

Ordinarily, in a situation like this we would refer you to a County Extension Agent, which is usually a service of the state Agricultural College. We did find a University of Hawaii Agriculture campus, but they appeared to have no extension services. Possibly a reputable plant nursery that sells these plants could make suggestions or a diagnosis. Wish we could have been more help.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Propagation of non-native Jerusalem Sage from Marble Falls, TX
October 11, 2010 - What is the best way to propagate Jerusalem Sage? I've located a plant and I want to get some going.
view the full question and answer

Flowering landscape plants for Montgomery TX
March 07, 2013 - Hello I live in Montgomery TX. I am looking for low growing evergreen flowering plants for the front of my three deep beds. The first plant closest to the foundation is loropetalum, then I have a blue...
view the full question and answer

Correction of tree name from Bay Point CA
October 16, 2013 - The tree should of been Mulberry don't know how it was changed!! Tuesday - October 15, 2013 From: Bay Point, CA Region: California Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents, Trees Title: Non-...
view the full question and answer

Non-native fruit trees for eastern North Carolina
April 03, 2008 - Are there any good fruit trees to grow in eastern North Carolina? For example peaches, apples, plums? What are your recommendations? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
June 20, 2013 - I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center