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

Wednesday - December 26, 2012

From: Glendale, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Problems with non-native Japanese privet from Glendale AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have Japanese privet shrub and they seem to be suffering from a disease, need help.

ANSWER:

The first problem is that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is being grown (in this case, Maricopa County, AZ). Ligustrum japonica (Japanese privet) is native to, well, Japan.

From Gardenguides.com here is an article on Problems with Waxleaf Privet  (another name for the same plant). From North Carolina State University Going Native.  An Article from Floridata. A quote from that article:

"WARNING
This shrub can be invasive and readily reseeds. If you do have plants, remove flowers and fruit to limit spread."

Our solution would be to let it die, get rid of all the fruit and/or seedlings, kill the existing roots and replace with a shrub native to Arizona. Go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, select on Arizona for State, shrub for Habit and whatever amount of sunlight you have where you want the plant to grow under Light Requirements. When we searched that way, we got 191 possibities; we also checked to make sure they grew naturally in Maricopa County. Here is a list of suggestions found that way:

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush)

Arctostaphylos pungens (Pointleaf manzanita)

Baccharis sarothroides (Desert broom)

Ceanothus greggii (Desert ceanothus)

Ceanothus integerrimus (Deerbrush)

Cercocarpus montanus (Alderleaf mountain mahogany)

Dalea formosa (Feather dalea)

Fallugia paradoxa (Apache plume)

Justicia californica (Beloperone)

Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant, where you can learn its projected mature size, bloom time and color, amount of sunlight needed and soil preferences.

 

From the Image Gallery


Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Pointleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos pungens

Desert broom
Baccharis sarothroides

Desert ceanothus
Ceanothus greggii

Deerbrush
Ceanothus integerrimus

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

Feather dalea
Dalea formosa

Apache plume
Fallugia paradoxa

Beloperone
Justicia californica

More Non-Natives Questions

Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
August 13, 2009 - I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Merremia tuberosa
August 07, 2006 - Respected Sir, I have been trying to find the scientific name and a sapling of a plant which had "flowers that look like rose flowers but are brown in color and have a paper like...
view the full question and answer

Removal of thistles from Columbus TX
May 20, 2014 - I am sorry if you have an answer in FAQs but I could not find it. We recently cleared property near Columbus Texas of many cedars (ash junipers). This spring we experienced a profusion of thistle -...
view the full question and answer

Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
September 15, 2012 - I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.
view the full question and answer

Red berry that changes the taste of other foods
January 15, 2013 - Hi, your site is fantastic. I heard from a friend that he tried a red berry in Florida which when eaten change the taste of other foods eaten afterwards. He ate a lemon after trying that berry and th...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center