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?


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

Thursday - May 13, 2010

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native fruit trees in Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have several species of fruit trees growing. pear, lime, orange, pluot, plum, variegated orange, peach, lemon all planted in ground, some this year and some last year: My lemon (approx 15 gallon) and orange (approx 10 gallon) (both planted this year) are not doing so good. The lemon has fruit since purchase. The orange does not. Both trees get water for about an hour twice a week along with all of my other thriving fruit trees. The lemon and orange are losing leaves, they are turning yellow and falling off. I do not see bugs or bug trails on the leaves. Can you please assist or advise?


All of those fruit trees and, in fact, most plants that have fruits you would buy in the grocery store are either non-native to North America and/or have been so extensively hybridized that recognizing their parentage would be impossible. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. The County Extension Offices usually have good information on food plants, fruits and vegetables. We would suggest you contact theTexas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Harris, Ft. Bend or Waller County, since Katy is in all three.

More Non-Natives Questions

Seeds of agave attenuata from San Diego CA
April 16, 2012 - After the agave attenuata bloom dried up there are seeds like thing hanging on the foxtail; do I leave it until it dies or do I chop that down. Are those seeds for propagation. The leaves of the plan...
view the full question and answer

Disease in non-native pittisporum in Central Texas
July 13, 2008 - Is there a disease in central Texas (Round Rock) affecting dwarf pittosporum? Specifically, clusters of dead leaves and much leaf drop. Some white, cottony residue on wood but not sure if it is mealyb...
view the full question and answer

Growing Giant Pumpkins in Georgia
April 15, 2013 - I have tried to grow giant pumpkins in the Atlanta, GA area. Each year I lose several strong plants to vine borers. I have tried tin foil wrapped around the stems, and I even painted the stems with Se...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant, Pachira aquatica
October 14, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have just bought a miniature money tree. I would like to plant it on a metal like decorative pot. What advice would you give me how to prevent the plant from getting any metal re...
view the full question and answer

How to eliminate roadside thistles
May 26, 2015 - When we drive along the highway we see lots of wildflowers and no thistles in the median. How does the Highway Department keep the thistles out? Here in Kerrville, we are overwhelmed by thistles thi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center