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

Wednesday - March 18, 2009

From: Charlottetown, Prince Edw
Region: Canada
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Violets becoming invasive in Prince Edward Island, Canada
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Last Spring I planted several violets and by the end of the Summer they have become an invasion in my garden. I'm afraid that they will get into my lawn and cause a real problem. Any way of getting rid of them permanently before they get out of the flower beds around my house?

ANSWER:

There are a number of different species of the genus Viola native to North America, but we are guessing that what you have is Viola labradorica (alpine violet), since it is native to Prince Edward Island.

The best approach is to let 'em spread!  As wildflowers go, not many are prettier and more endearing than native violets.  A lawn sprinkled with these little twinkling jewels sounds like a bit of heaven to us!  However, removing violets takes perseverance. You must dig out the plants to remove all of the fleshy roots or else they simply resprout.  Remove spent flowers to prevent seeds from maturing and spreading.


Viola labradorica

Viola labradorica

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Native plants to go between patio stones in Oceanside CA
February 24, 2010 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I live in Oceanside CA about 5 mi from the coast and have an about 20' sq private patio with "issues". Patio has with flagstones, one side all sun all day, middle area part...
view the full question and answer

Are These Plants Natives for Flower Mound, Texas?
September 24, 2010 - We are having our flower beds reworked and these are the plants that the company is recommending to plant. I would like to know if these plants are native to our area:pink muhly grass, lythrum, lorope...
view the full question and answer

How to tell the difference between native and European thistles
April 19, 2011 - How can I tell the difference between invasive (European) thistles and thistles that are native to Texas? And what is the best way to eradicate the invasive varieties?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Chinaberry tree from Tucson AZ
September 05, 2013 - I have a 30+ year old Chinaberry tree and this year the branches are much sparser with leaves and there are a lot of small dead branches. Should I fertilize and what should I use? Thank you
view the full question and answer

What to do about bastard cabbage in the Austin area?
May 08, 2015 - I am noticing bastard cabbage taking over roadsides and medians at an alarming rate where a mixture of native flowers used to bloom. Is it allowable to organize efforts to pull the invasive plants ou...
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