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
1 rating

Thursday - September 24, 2009

From: Sugar Land, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native cannas in Sugar Land, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just planted some beautiful canna lilies along my fenceline (about 8 inches off the property line and 2 ft between each plant). My neighbor complained that they were going to go wild and sprout up on her side of the fence. I put up mesh netting to keep the leaves from poking through the fence as they begin to grow. Should that keep them on my side of the fence?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The only cannas native to Texas are Canna glauca (maraca amarilla) and Canna flaccida (bandanna of the Everglades). Canna indica is native to Central and South America and most of the other cannas are grouped under the name Canna x generalis, so extensively hybridized that there is no telling what the parents of a particular plant were or what their general characteristics will be. Both being hybridized and being non-native put them out of our range of expertise. 

Since Canna x generalis (Floridata), as well as other named cannas, spread by rhizomes underground, mesh to keep the leaves from poking through is not going to make much difference. In southeast Texas, those rhizomes will continue in the soil over winter, and sprout new plants next year. We have heard complaints about cannas "taking over," but found no indication in our research that they are considered invasive. If your neighbor dislikes the cannas, she can dig the rhizomes out on her side as they come up. If you care about your neighbor's opinion, you can move the canna rhizomes to someplace on your property not so near theirs. This can be done over the winter. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
August 31, 2012 - I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
view the full question and answer

Non-native banana trees
June 06, 2008 - I recently planted two types of Banana trees, a Darjeeling and a Giant Nepal. I know that both are hardy to my zone 7 but that the Nepal needed heavy mulching. My first question is how long will it ta...
view the full question and answer

Non-flowering mimosas in Texas
July 08, 2008 - I have two mimosa trees, about 3 years old. Both were grown from volunteer seedlings. Neither have flowers nor have they produced seed pods. Are they too young or do they need a source of pollenation...
view the full question and answer

Ants and garden plants for Austin
November 03, 2012 - I am needy of companion plants that compliment and work well with the Lantana, Mexican Heather , and in the new beds that I am preparing where I was thinking in part to have passion flower (though is ...
view the full question and answer

Moving non-native Iris Germanica in Pennsylvania
May 30, 2009 - I am moving from Northeast Pennsylvania to North Carolina this fall or winter. I was told it was possible to save some of my bearded Iris plants by digging them after they bloom and allowing them to ...
view the full question and answer

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