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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 12, 2010

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Getting flowers to grow under non-native globe willow in Salt Lake City
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a globe willow in our back yard that is about 15 years old and cannot get any flowers to grow under it. Can you recommend what we need to do to treat the soil, and what type of flowers will grow best?

ANSWER:

Please see this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on Globe Willow, Salix matsudana, which is native to Asia and therefore falls out of our range of experience and is not in our Native Plant Database. Their invasive roots compete with nearby plants for moisture and nutrients, so gardening underneath is difficult. The willow will lap up anything you do to treat the soil, as well as suck up the water. The good news is, willows grow very fast and don't live very long, so when it dies you can cut it down and plant whatever you want to. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Can Allamanda cathartica be used as an insecticide
October 31, 2008 - is allamanda cathartica can be used as an insecticides?
view the full question and answer

Non-native fountain grass for Edwardsburg MI
September 20, 2009 - I purchased a purple fountain grass by a vendor @ the Plymouth, IN blueberry festival. He told me that it is a perennial. I live in Edwardsburg, MI and I keep reading that in my area, they are consi...
view the full question and answer

Companion plants for non-native Santolina virens
March 23, 2015 - Can you recommend companion plant options for Santolina virens? The companion plant would be planted randomly and interspersed with the santolina and needs to be no taller than 12 inches because of th...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a nursing home resident from LaQuinta CA
July 26, 2013 - I take care of an elderly woman with dementia. She is in a nursing home and she's always LOVES flowers and plants. Do you have any suggestions for potted outdoor blooming plants for the summer in...
view the full question and answer

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
view the full question and answer

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