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?

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
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

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

Non-native, invasive Tree of Heaven in Central Texas?
April 07, 2011 - Has Ailanthus altissima been reported in Central Texas? I think we have found a few growing right here in Austin amongst a stand of cedars at a residential property off of 1826 (near where 1826 hits ...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of Cosmos from Decatur GA
April 26, 2013 - I have been searching for an answer concerning the invasive plant Cosmos. I know that Florida declares this but I have not been able to find out does Georgia? And specifically,is it only the yellow Co...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
view the full question and answer

Gift plant for a new arrival in Texas.
December 09, 2009 - To Whom it May Concern, I am writing to you from Sydney, Australia. My sister is moving to Texas and I wanted to give her a native plant as a present. Is there anyway I could arrange that with you, or...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow
April 17, 2009 - The trunk of my Weeping Willow tree has raised donut growths.The left base has decay. There is a large space between the base and the soil (no roots) and the wood is brittle. Large ants with a black ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center