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

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 Trees Questions

Hardy Tree for Kansas
March 14, 2012 - I'm hoping to find a tree that is hardy and will survive all rough seasons in Wichita, KS. The spot is in front of a northern exposure window.
view the full question and answer

Reducing the Height of a Redbud Tree
January 23, 2016 - We have a very large, about 15-year old, Redbud tree that is growing so tall it's obstructing our view of the river. How and when can we prune this tree back so it does not hurt the tree.
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
view the full question and answer

Trees with non-invasive roots or tops in Newhall CA
November 07, 2011 - We would like to plant a tree with noninvasive roots near our garden wall and concrete driveway in a grassy area in the front yard facing west. This spot is very sunny in the afternoon with automatic ...
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for non-fruiting wild plum
March 10, 2007 - My grandfather has land in Lee County with thickets of wild plum, I believe creek plum is another name. However, they never seem to produce plums while thickets nearby on the roadside less than one mi...
view the full question and answer

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