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
3 ratings

Friday - March 25, 2011

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Water for non-native Sub-Zero ivy in El Paso
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Sub-Zero Ivy: Do they require lots of water - I live El Paso, TX - dry climate. Are they dangerous to dogs? Will they do well as ground cover around a brick patio? - Thanks!

ANSWER:

Hedera helix (of which Sub-Zero Ivy is a hybrid) is native to  Europe and Western Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and to the areas in which those plants are being grown. Yes, it requires lots of water and yes, it has toxins that can be dangerous to any animal that ingests them. It will not only cover the ground around a brick patio, it will cover the brick. It might cover the dog if he doesn't keep moving. Please read all about it in this Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted article. Also, check out this article from Dave's Garden on The Invaders: Hedera Helix.

We answer many, many questions from gardeners trying to get rid of invasive plants. The best way to control invasives, especially alien invasives, is to not plant them.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native Cleyera in Georgia
September 30, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I had a landscaper plant 4 Cleyera around my front porch. I have had them for about 9 years now and they are very hardy, each one being about 4 feet in width, 5 feet high ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating KR? Bluestem from St. Augustine Yard in Spicewood, TX
April 28, 2012 - How can I eradicate bluestem grass invading my St. Augustine lawn?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
view the full question and answer

Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving
May 07, 2008 - I live in Austin and am looking for plants I can use for weaving fibers, e.g. lashing bamboo for a small project. What plants and parts do you recommend? What resources do you recommend for informatio...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Japanese maple seedling in Rotterdam NY
August 09, 2010 - In the first couple days of August, I discovered a baby Japanese Maple growing against the wall of my storage shed, a short distance from a neighbor's full grown Japanese Maple. I transplanted this 5...
view the full question and answer

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