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

Type of non-native parsley for swallowtails from Austin
September 02, 2012 - What is the best type of parsley for Yellow Swallowtails? Lost a caterpillar when it ran out of food from a parsley plant. I can't remember what kind of parsley. It would not feed on Rue, cilantro...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of non-native eggplant in Temple TX
October 28, 2009 - I planted egg plants in my raised bed garden for the first time this season. The plants are healthy and have produced a number of beautiful small white fruit with purple accent (spots). However, the f...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Lime Turning Yellow
March 25, 2015 - What causes moderate yellowing of 40% of the leaves of an 8 year old Mexican Lime Tree that is booming and blooming right now with lots of thick new growth? I used a general garden fertilizer a few ...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native grapefruit from seeds from Austin
April 30, 2013 - Can you grow ruby red grapefruit trees from seeds?
view the full question and answer

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