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

Tuesday - April 30, 2013

From: Pacific Plsds, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, User Comments, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Are agaves really native from Pacific Palisades CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just replied re agave issues, and mistakenly asked the source of your information. I see that you clearly noted it, apologies. I would note, however, that the Riverside area is very much a hot, inland area, and San Diego county includes the nation's largest desert state park, mere miles from the Mexico border. The mid and upper California Coastal mountain ranges have a completely different, milder, wetter environment.

ANSWER:

Since your question was about getting rid of them, the nativity really isn't the big issue. A weed is a plant where you don't want it. If the plant is native to the state where it is, that isn't necessarily a free ticket to stay there. However, whoever planted those agaves was justified in that they are native to California, and native close to the area where they were planted. They are desert plants and if they have found a very comfortable place to grow, they could be characterized as invasive. Bottom line: they are there, they are native there and getting them out is going to be very difficult. Short of a time machine whereby the planters could go back and not plant them, your choices are: get permission to have them removed (if that is necessary), pay a contractor to move them (and you will still have "pups" no matter what you do), or do it yourself. They are tough survivor plants, evolved to survive in a difficult environment and there is no spray you can buy at the home improvement store that will solve the problem.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removing St. Augustine from flower beds
January 25, 2009 - We just had new landscaping put in at our house. We had planting beds prepped and mulched and had Zoysia sod installed outside the beds. The yard before had small areas of St. Augustine growing and no...
view the full question and answer

Eradication of invasive thistles in Parma OH
July 11, 2010 - Lawn is full of prickly weeds with very deep roots. May be called Scotch Thistle, although id is not confirmed. They will grow as tall as they can amid other plants, and when mowed in the lawn, they...
view the full question and answer

Orange trumpet creeper parasitic to oaks in New York City?
December 17, 2010 - Is the Orange Trumpet Creeper a parasite to oak trees? My concern is that a neighbor with a tall oak has a vine growing up it and I wonder if it could damage or weaken the tree?
view the full question and answer

Identification of fast-growing weeds with orange flowers
July 14, 2013 - I have fast growing plants (weeds?) in my heavily wooded backyard. They reach heights of over 6 ft and have orange flowers. I have spent hours searching the web today with no success -the closest thin...
view the full question and answer

Removing nut grass and wild strawberry in Vienna VA
June 13, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Pants, How do I get rid of wild strawberry plants and nut grass in my large garden bed? I have rosemary and thyme already there and don't want to use a harmful pesticide (kids and pets...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center