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

Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
August 31, 2012 - i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
view the full question and answer

Want to know the name of a string looking moss in OR.
August 02, 2011 - I want to know the name of a string looking moss or Licha that grows on pine trees? Thought was old mans whiskers, but this search brings up a flower; not what I am looking for. I found some in Glacie...
view the full question and answer

Removal of non-native zoysia grass from Burgettstown PA
September 12, 2013 - What is the most effective method of killing zoysia grass? We bought a house that sits in the center of four acres of mature zoysia. It looks beautiful, however, despite our best efforts at "weeding...
view the full question and answer

Planting location of non-native Japanese maple in Toronto
May 22, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty, I am in the region of Toronto, Canada. I just bought from nursery a "Red Select" Janpanese Maple, about 2' tall, still in its 1' pot. I intended to plant it in my front yard ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center