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?


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 25, 2009

From: Taylor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Coloration problems with non-native nandinas and queens wreath in Taylor, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


This year my nandinas are extremely red and my queen's wreath blossoms deepened in color before the first freeze browned them out. What would cause this? Thank you.


Nandina domestica is a suckering shrub in the Berberidaceae (Barberry) family that is a native of China and Japan, and therefore not in our range of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It is, in fact, considered an invasive species, especially in the South. This Floridata site, Nandina domestica, can give you more information but also advises that it is considered a Class I invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. We understand that some cultivars turn that bright red in the Fall, and that it is considered normal.

Petrea volubilis (Queen's wreath) is also non-native to North America and therefore we have no information on it in our Native Plant Database.  It is a tropical which originated in the Caribbean, and probably grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11. Williamson County is approximately Zones 8a to 8b, and that may have caused the problem with your plant. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Native plants will be accustomed to the climate, rainfall and temperatures of that area and will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance. 


More Non-Natives Questions

Sages in Catasauqua, PA
August 08, 2014 - I want to buy a Texas Sage tree but I live in PA. Can I bring the tree indoors during winter?
view the full question and answer

Hydrilla problems in Tom Bean Lake in Mesquite, TX.
October 12, 2012 - What is the lifespan of Hydrilla in 30 acre lake at Tom Bean Tx? Does it grow spring thru summer and then hibernate thru winter ??
view the full question and answer

Type of non-native parsley for swallowtails from Austin
September 02, 2012 - What is the best type of parsley for Yellow Swallowtails? Lost a caterpillar when it ran out of food from a parsley plant. I can't remember what kind of parsley. It would not feed on Rue, cilantro...
view the full question and answer

Apples, pears and geraniums in Kipling, Saskatchewan
March 30, 2013 - My geranium's leaves became yellow - Why? Where can I buy a good nice apple tree? Will apples and pears grow in south Saskatchewan?
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native peach in Austin, TX.
June 18, 2015 - I planted two five gallon Texas Star peach trees last February but didn't have the nerve to prune them back to knee height. After having been convinced that this is a good thing to do, I'd like to k...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center