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?

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

Are Native Cultivars As Beneficial to Wildlife?
September 02, 2015 - I am working on adding more native plants to my small acreage. I would like to know if using a selection or cultivar of a native species is as likely to have wildlife benefits as using a randomly prop...
view the full question and answer

Planting conditions for non-native Oriental poppy in Colorado
May 14, 2009 - I live in Broomfield, CO. Is this a good time to plant oriental poppies, what is the best sun exposure and how should I prepare the soil?
view the full question and answer

Crows foot plant for Christmas wreaths from Millsboro DE
November 04, 2012 - I am looking for a plant called crows foot to make wreaths for Christmas. Where do I find this plant.
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Ficus Pumila
October 23, 2008 - I have successfully maintained Ficus Pumila trees indoors for many years. Over the last year my two indoor,5' (in container) ficus trees have developed large brown lesions that turn "papery" befor...
view the full question and answer

Thrips on non-native roses in Austin
June 11, 2009 - How can I get rid of thrips that have totally invaded all of my roses?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center