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

Sunday - June 17, 2012

From: Islesboro, ME
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native invasive Siebold viburnum from Isleboro ME
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was given several small Siebold Viburnum for planting on my Maine property. Even though it is often for sale in nurseries, I'm aware it is listed as invasive in several eastern states. Shouldn't I decline the gift and avoid planting these plants as possibly invasive in Maine as well?

ANSWER:

Since this plant is native to Japan, it is out of our area of expertise. However, for our own information as well as yours, we searched on "Siebold Viburnum invasive" and got an eyeful. Apparently, the biggest problem is that the berries of this shrub are very attractive to birds. The birds feed on them, go somewhere else, and deposit the seeds. The shrub grows quickly, and in an wild area can be up and taking over before anyone notices it. We read one comment that we thought was very telling. It had to do with the fact that you cannot defend all plants in all spaces from invaders, but you can take care of the area you are responsible for. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 7, so we have no experience with it in Texas, but we don't like viburnums that do get established here.

We really can't tell you what to do, this is a decision  landowners must make for themselves. The seeds of the plant you put in the ground may not produce invasive stands in your lifetime, but eventually they will. You make the choice - free, bird-attracting shrubs or a possilble environmental problem down the road.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Care for non-native 'Glacier Blues' from Charlton MA
March 24, 2012 - Do you have to prune or cut down Glacier Blues in the garden? My plants look brown and wilted.
view the full question and answer

Twisted hibiscus tree in Plainfield, IN
April 24, 2009 - I have just bought 4 twisted hibiscus trees and repotted them immediately then brought them into my screened in porch until I was certain the weather would be safe to keep them outside (I live in Cent...
view the full question and answer

Non-native lambs ears wilting in heat from Fredericksburg TX
October 19, 2011 - 3 days ago I had professional landscaping done in an area with plants that tolerate heat & sun well. We planted 7 healthy, large lambs ear & mulched. Everything planted is doing well except the lambs ...
view the full question and answer

Care for some non-native salvias from Austin
November 12, 2012 - Mexican bush sage and Salvia "indigo spires" are both blooming in my Austin beds right now. Once they stop blooming and/or frost gets them, could you tell me by how much they should be cut back? R...
view the full question and answer

Information about non-native Feijoa sellowiana (pineapple guave)
April 01, 2010 - Does a pineapple guava thrive in Austin, zip 78735? What height does it grow and what watering is needed?
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