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?


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

Monday - August 02, 2010

From: Soquel, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Why are our Euphorbia myrsinites plants dying in Soquel, CA?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Some of our Euphorbia myrsinites die in our garden for reasons we cannot understand. Do you have any explanation or suggest area we should be looking for?


You don't give any clues about the conditions where your spurge plants are growing, so this makes your question hard to answer. Some plant problems can be attributed to sun and water; either too much or too little. Then there are insect and fungal problems. For help closer to home, I suggest contacting the Santa Cruz County Office of the University of California Cooperative Extension.

In researching this question I came up with a few facts that I will share with you.

First of all, Euphorbia myrsinites  (Myrtle Spurge) is not native to the US, but is introduced from Europe, and considered to be an invasive species. The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

The Colorado Noxious Weed Act makes it unlawful to allow the Myrtle Spurge to produce seed.

It is listed as a noxious weed in Oregon.

And after reading the comments on this link from Dave's Garden, you may be glad that the plant is dying.


More Non-Natives Questions

Support for non-native, invasive Nandina Domestica from San Antonio, TX
July 09, 2013 - I consider nandina domestica to be a perfect plant for San Antonio, but see that it is on the list of invasive plants for surrounding eco-areas. How should I respond regarding one of my favorite land...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Greenville NY
September 10, 2009 - We live on the border of Zones 5b and 6a and have a weeping willow that grew so much in only 3 years and did quite well. However, there are aerial roots growing on its bark as well as part of the bark...
view the full question and answer

Frost damage to Mexican palm and non-native Sago palm in Austin
February 01, 2010 - I have frost damage to the leaves on my mexican palm tree which is about 12 feet high. Can I cut back all of the damaged leaves and what month? Also, Sago palms have some frost damage on the upper...
view the full question and answer

Black fungus on non-native ixora from Palm Beach Gardens FL
January 29, 2011 - We have 7-8 ixora plants that are side by side and all have developed a black fungus or substance on them. The substance is not only on the plant, but has spread to the wall they are adjacent to. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing branches on non-native sago palms after freeze in Rusk TX
January 30, 2010 - My Sago Palms experienced a good freeze. Now they have a multitude of yellowing branches, in fact most of the plant is yellow. Please advise what to do to save my plants. They are about nine years ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center