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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 20, 2010

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives
Title: Eliminating gift plant from flowerbed
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A neighbor gave me cuttings of a lush green plant with a blue flower with a yellow center that is only open in morning. It has become very invasive. I cut it back and dug at least 6-12" deep to get the roots but each day numerous little green sprouts are in my flowerbed. How can I get rid of tiny sprouts without killing my petunias and moss rose?

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  Your description of the plant and the fact that it was a cutting from your neighbor would lead us to suspect that it isn't a plant native to North America.  However, we can give you a little advice about getting rid of it no matter what its nativity.  The approach that is the least likely to affect your other plants is to remove the roots of the troublesome plant.  If you don't dig down and remove all the roots, it is going to keep coming up again and again.  It may be a tough job, but that's what it is going to take.  You could also consider careful application of an herbicide.  You can try cutting the tips of the sprouts as they emerge and very carefully painting the cut ends with a small brush dipped in  herbicide.  You will need to be very careful not to get any of the herbicide on your other plants.  It is likely to take several applications to finally kill the roots.  Please be sure to read and observe all precautions on the herbicide label as well.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

Type of clumping bamboo for outdoor planters from Plano TX
March 25, 2014 - What type of clumping bamboo can be grown outdoors in planters in Dallas,TX?
view the full question and answer

Root cuttings for non-native, poisonous oleander from Mobile AL
December 16, 2010 - I need help with best method to root cuttings from my oleander tree. Please advise best method. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Villanova PA
July 03, 2009 - My weeping willow (6 years old,80+ft tall),up until this year used to be full and healthy. Last year I trimmed the lower portion of the trunk by cutting off the low hanging branches, but this year so ...
view the full question and answer

Disease on non-native French hollyhocks
April 16, 2008 - I live in Georgetown, Texas. I have some French hollyhocks that have some kind of disease on the leaves - I would like to know what to spray them with to get rid of it. It looks like brown blemishes...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center