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?

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
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

Tuesday - August 04, 2009

From: Lighthouse Point, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pests
Title: Problems with iguanas in Ft. Lauderdale FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live on the intracoastal waterway near Ft. Lauderdale,FL and I am having problems with iguana. They will not eat lantana or buttercups; however is there a poisonous ground cover, preferable with flowers, that I could utilize to surround the base of my royal palm trees? Iguanas are everywhere and costing me $$$$.

ANSWER:

Okay, first we need to apologize for what we were thinking. We thought iguanas were natives of the Caribbean, South and Central America and what were they doing in Florida, anyway? Turns out they are, indeed, a very large problem in South Florida, but pretty well confined to there by the fact that they cannot withstand freezing weather. The iguanas that are terrorizing some neighborhoods are escaped or abandoned pets, and can truly be vicious and dangerous to pets and children as well as vegetation.  And we thought Florida had big problems with invasive plants, but never considered invasive lizards! Iguanas are omnivorous, eating not only plant material but also insects, occasionally small rodents, and are known to be carriers of salmonella. All very good reasons to not feed them or try to adopt them.

However, we don't recommend poisonous plants because a child or pet could just as easily come along and nibble on those plants as the iguanas. Also, we are gardeners, not zoologists, and specialize in plants native to North America and to the area in which the plants are being grown. Reptiles are way out of our line of expertise.  We know about rattlesnakes, but we try to avoid socializing with them. So, we are going to list some websites, from which we have learned a great deal, that might give you some help. 

University of Florida IFAS Extension Dealing with iguanas in the South Florida landscape

TampaBay.com Florida's iguana infestation

Green Iguana Society Feral Iguanas in Florida

Florida Museum of Natural History Study sheds light on invasive iguana's big appetite

UPI.com Man wants iguana on Florida menus

 

 

More Pests Questions

White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
June 20, 2013 - I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC ...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of native plants as natural mosquito repellants
February 08, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas and have what I would consider a mosquito infestation in my garden for most of the year. Are there native plants to this region that are proven to be naturally mosquito repella...
view the full question and answer

Roses being attacked by spider mites
January 18, 2008 - My roses are being eaten alive by spider mites. I read that this area of Texas has a huge problem with these devils! I've tried everything to kill them to no avail! Can you help me? Gratefully yours,...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Arizona Ash from Naco AZ
May 19, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty.. Live in southeast corner of Az. My Az. Ash is diseased. Just noticed leaves are curled, (still green) and when I open the leaf it has a zillion little white, what look like mites ...
view the full question and answer

Worms on blackeyed susans and daisies in Tuckerton NJ
July 30, 2009 - I have black eyed susans and white daisies planted together. Not sure if this makes a difference. Today I noticed that there are tiny worms on both the plants they are almost the size of silk worms. ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center