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
1 rating

Wednesday - September 30, 2009

From: Kaufman, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Damage from feral hogs
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello. What extent of damage can be expected when planting wildflower seeds in an area regularly visited by feral hogs? In some cases do the hogs actually help plant the seed as they root around? Does it depend largely on when in the life cycle of the wildflowers the hogs do the digging? Are there any methods to discourage feral hogs from rooting in new plantings? One native seed company suggested stapling straw erosion control matting over the planting. We're working on hog control, but don't expect the situation to be resolved before the ideal time for planting wildflowers has passed. Fencing is impractical in our situation, due to the large area being planted. And from what I understand, hogs usually find their way through fencing eventually. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Feral hogs have become a serious problem across the US.  They tear up the soil and vegetation rooting for food (e.g., tubers, roots, mushrooms, insects) and make large depressions destroying almost all vegetation in the wallows that they make.  In areas where they are merely passing through and doing some mild rooting, it is conceivable they could help plant the seed as they turn over the soil.  However, when they are doing serious rooting or serious wallowing, wildflower plantings are not going to have much of a chance.  I have seen areas where the pigs have been that look as if they have been worked by earth moving machines.  I am very skeptical that putting down erosion control matting over the planting would keep the hogs from rooting or wallowing there.  My feeling is that the pigs will take the erosion control cloth as a special challenge to uproot and/or destroy.  My recommendation is to keep working on hog control.  The fewer hogs on your property, the less the destruction and the more likely you will see success with the flowers.  Try to determine the areas that the pigs are using most often and avoid those that seem to have the heaviest use for your wildflower planting.  Sow your seeds where there has been the least disturbance and pray that the pigs don't move their major usage to the place you've just seeded.

Here are links to two publications with useful 'official' information about the hogs and control efforts by the State of Texas:

The Feral Hog in Texas from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Coping with Feral Hogs from Texas A&M 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Shade Loving Plants for Under a Black Walnut Tree in Rochester, NY.
May 09, 2015 - Please advise on plants that will grow in the shade under a black walnut tree in Rochester, NY.
view the full question and answer

Rust problems on Jack in the Pulpit in IL
June 12, 2011 - The last 2 years I have noticed that some of my jack in the pulpit plants have something that makes me think of a copper color rust.It seems to start on the underside of the leaves. What can I do to g...
view the full question and answer

Red buckeye not blooming in NY
July 04, 2011 - I planted my red buckeye in September 2007 and it was about 18 inches tall. It is now a few inches short of 5ft. tall. I have had it in the ground for nearly 4 yrs and it has never bloomed. I have fr...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa
May 18, 2008 - I planted both tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa. Both are chlorotic and the native milkweed has brown upturned leaves. Could it possibly be too much water? Or what?
view the full question and answer

Problems with spreading juniper in Sturgis, SD
May 25, 2011 - I live in Sturgis, South Dakota and I have two different varieties of Spreading Juniper in the yard as ground cover. They have developed an orange colored fungus that goes dormant in the winter but a...
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