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

Friday - July 23, 2010

From: Charleston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Trees
Title: Sprouts from Sabal palmetto in Charleston SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in SC and have several palm trees (our state tree and symbol). The trees are wonderful, but my situation concerns the many, many sprouts that appear in the flower beds around the trees? Is there anything, other than constantly tilling the area, that will remove them safely?

ANSWER:

We could find no mention of Sabal palmetto (cabbage palmetto)   having suckers or sprouts coming up from the roots of the palm, but rather learned that seeds germinate readily in the landscape, generating many seedlings. Removing the seedlings from beneath the canopy can be a nuisance, which you obviously already know. Much as we hate to tell you this, tilling will only turn up more seeds, including some weeds and other plants you don't want. We would recommend recognizing what the palmetto seedlings look like and pulling them as soon as they emerge. Because seeds germinate from middle to late summer, seedling growth the first year normally consists of a primary root, one fully expanded leaf with stem growth obliquely downward forming the rhizome.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cabbage palmetto
Sabal palmetto

Cabbage palmetto
Sabal palmetto

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Seeding Bluebonnets in Missouri
July 07, 2016 - I live in St. Louis, MO and obtained a packet of Bluebonnet seeds as well as a seedling. I read up on inoculating and scarifying the seeds, but I'm unsure as to the soil I should use. I was planning ...
view the full question and answer

Propagating Silky Sophora by seed from Elmendorf TX
July 24, 2013 - I have some seed for the Sophora nutalliana. What is the best way to germinate this seed?
view the full question and answer

When to seed a native grass lawn in a drought area?
December 15, 2011 - I want to plant a native grass lawn. It is raining now. Can I plant it in December? It might not be raining in the spring if the drought continues.
view the full question and answer

Dill-like plant in veggie garden in California
September 28, 2011 - I have a plant that appeared in my veggie garden. Looks like dill in spring when green, but the leaves smell more like turpentine! Now, 4-5 foot tall, brown, it produces lots of small, oval - not cr...
view the full question and answer

Why is fall the best time to plant Bluebonnet seeds?
May 29, 2015 - Bluebonnet plants drop their seeds in late May or early June. Why is it recommended to broadcast Bluebonnet seeds in October which is 5 months after the plant drops its seeds?
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