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

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

Failure to bloom of non-native Althea in Oklahoma
August 17, 2008 - I have 2 Althea bushes that will not bloom. For the past 2 years, they become covered in buds, which eventually yellow, but never open. The buds are fully developed. This year the branches have starte...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
July 04, 2008 - I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native King Sago Palm
April 13, 2009 - My king sago palm has not branched out in over a year. I think it needs to be fertilized. What can I do?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native Lamium maculatum
August 01, 2008 - Hello: Approximately 3 to 4 years ago I planted approximately 20 Lamium Beacon Silver plants in a shaded area of my yard, with limited sun. The first year they seemed very hearty and expanded. I ce...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
April 24, 2012 - What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
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