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

Tuesday - August 10, 2010

From: Merritt Island, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Coconut palms and Christmas palms in Merritt Island, FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Last winter the coconut and Christmas Palms all suffered. I have coconuts to plant, but can't get them to put forth a sprout, and eventually grow into a tree. I have put some in the ground half-way. Perhaps it takes many many months to show growth, perhaps years? Thank you for yur time and knowledge.

ANSWER:

My, you are busy today. However, once again you got a wrong number. Neither the Cocos nucifera, Coconut Palm nor the Veitchia merrillii, Christmas Palm are native to North America. The Coconut Palm is native to the Malay Archipelago or the South Pacific. The Christmas Palm is native to the Phillipines. 

From the University of Florida IFAS Extension, this article on The Coconut Palm will give you more information on that plant.  

This article from the USDA Forest Service on Christmas Palm,  Veitchia merrillii, says, among other things:

"Unfortunately, the palm is very susceptible to lethal yellowing disease and probably should not be planted."

You will find that if you Google on the scientific names instead of the common names, you will get more results. 

 

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native corkscrew willow in Homerville GA
May 25, 2009 - I have a corkscrew willow tree and it the branches are turning dark and dying. What could be the problem?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of using weeping love grass on property in Keller, Texas
April 19, 2008 - What do you know about "Weeping Love Grass"? We have heard that it does not require watering (once the roots are established, fertilizing, nor frequent mowing. So we decided to plant it on our 2-a...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native Chocolate Silk Tree, Albizia julibrissin
June 09, 2009 - How do we get our Chocolate Silk Tree that once had redish brown leaves from now green to the original color? Thank You.
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of non-native red-tip photinia to fish from Friendswood TX
April 10, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have seen several questions on Red Tip Photinia (RTP) concerning toxicity to horses, dogs and children. We recently lost over 100 gold fish and 6 large KOI in our man made back ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native gardenia in Cedar Park, TX
October 07, 2009 - My gardenia, which is planted in a large pot, drops the buds before they bloom. What do I need to do. I already fertilize it with gardenia food.
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center