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

Thursday - February 26, 2009

From: Pasadena, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native creeping fig
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I like the creeping fig that covers my brick wall but the roots are very invasive and are choking my rose bushes and other surrounding plants. I spent two days removing the roots and loosening the soil. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Ficus pumila is a native of Japan's southern islands, eastern China and Vietnam and therefore not in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the planting and protection of plants native to North America and to the area in which they are being grown. When you asked us for suggestions, our suggestion would be to get rid of the creeping fig. Or at least choose between it and the other plants that are sharing the same space. The Ficus pumila, as indicated in this Floridata website, is very aggressive and can climb right over competing plants. It climbs by exuding a sticky substance that helps it adhere to surfaces, and should absolutely be kept away from wooden walls or structures as the sticky substance can damage the wood.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with yellow lantana in Smoaks SC
June 05, 2010 - My yellow lantanas are about five years old - big and beautiful, but beginning last year, the blooms are small and part of the tiny petals are brown or black. Can you tell me what I can do about this ...
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Bryophyllum spp. in Austin
May 13, 2010 - I was given two varieties of what I now believe are 'Mother of Millions' and saw that they're considered a noxious weed in Australia. Are these plants considered dangerous to TX if I keep them in ...
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native rosemary on sea breeze from Alberta Canada
July 28, 2011 - I read that Rosemary, in some locations, can live on nothing other than the humidity carried by the sea breeze. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Greenville NY
September 10, 2009 - We live on the border of Zones 5b and 6a and have a weeping willow that grew so much in only 3 years and did quite well. However, there are aerial roots growing on its bark as well as part of the bark...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native African violets in Des Moines
January 08, 2010 - My violets have stopped blooming after years and have developed a growth in the middle of the plant. Can I save these plants and how can I revive them. Thank you, I am desperate to salvage them as the...
view the full question and answer

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