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
1 rating

Thursday - February 26, 2009

From: Sugar Land, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Roots of Savannah Holly close to house
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Sugar Land and want to plant Savannah Holly at the ends of both sides of the front flowerbed. Are the roots too dangerous to plant so close to the house? (How far from the house should they be?)If so what do you suggest.

ANSWER:

We could not find Savannah holly in our Native Plant Database, but found this USDA Forest Service site Ilex x attenuata 'Savannah'. The "x" indicates it is a hybrid, which excludes it from being considered a native plant.  The USDA site says that roots are rarely invasive due to their great numbers and relatively small diameter. On the subject of roots, we found this website The Dirt Doctor-Howard Garrett on Savannah Holly in which he indicates caution should be used when planting container plants to avoid girdling of the roots, and has pictures to illustrate the problem. Our real concern with planting the Savannah holly close to your house is not so much with the roots and the foundation, but with the size and height of the plant as it grows. Read the indications on the USDA site on expected growth rate, height and width and make your decision from that on how far to plant the shrub from your house.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Lavender near Austin TX
July 10, 2011 - Are there places to view blooming lavender near Austin in July 2011?
view the full question and answer

Looking for the tallest okra stalk in Waco, TX.
July 22, 2011 - I am looking for the tallest okra stalk in Waco,Texas. Back in the 1950s, it was in the Waco paper but I can't find it. My Grandfather's name was Robert W. Goss of Waco, and he had his picture take...
view the full question and answer

Plant replacements for non-native invasives in Austin, TX
April 20, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX, I have a large lot and small house. I want to do some selective planting on the back half of my lot. Currently there are large live oaks, cedar elm. hackberry, cedar, Texas persi...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native invasive Asian jasmine in Temple TX
February 06, 2010 - Hello, behind my backyard fence there is a large growth (about 300 to 400 sq feet) of Asian jasmine. It was planted by previous owners. It prevents growth of native plants like holly. What is the prac...
view the full question and answer

Want to Grow Herbs in Pots on Balcony
November 26, 2011 - Nov. 20, 2011 I live in a large apartment with a front balcony. I was wondering what would grow well in pots and fresh herb this time of the year? And will lavendar work for a hanging plant as well...
view the full question and answer

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