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 - May 12, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Can non-native coleus grow in mulch from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can Coleus plants grow in Mulch only?

ANSWER:

From Wikipedia: "Solenostemon (coleus) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae, native to tropical Africa, Asia and Australia."

It is therefore not native to North America, which means the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, has no information on it.

We can, however, tell you about mulch. Please read our How-To Article on Under Cover with Mulch. This tells you that decomposing mulch added to soil will amend the soil as to good drainage and access to nutrients in the soil. If you are asking if coleus can grow in soil that has been mulched, the answer is "yes." If you are wondering if any plant, coleus included, can grow in nothing but raw mulch, the answer is "no." Water and nutrients for the plant are drawn up from the soil by tiny rootlets.

Just to show we are good sports, here is an article on Coleus from Clemson University Extension.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Asclepias curassavica
March 09, 2005 - I have some plants given to me by a neighbor, here in Florida. She says they are called Butterfly Reel or by another name Asclepias Curassavica. I have been unable to locate any info. on this plant. ...
view the full question and answer

Is Crape Myrtle Native?
July 20, 2015 - Hello, I live in Frisco, TX. Can you tell me is there any Crape Myrtle which is native to Frisco, TX.
view the full question and answer

Is India Hawthorne a deer-resistant plant?
July 03, 2011 - Is India Hawthorne a deer resistant plant in Beaufort County South Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native grasses growiing in non-native alfalfa in Clint, TX
April 16, 2011 - I have six acres of alfalfa in Clint, Tx which was planted three years ago. After taking it to Jaime Iglesias PhD, CEA-Agriculture Texas Agrilife Extension El Paso County; he responded: Mr. Zuniga: ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native tropicals for Syracuse, NY
August 10, 2009 - I live in upstate New York but am a fanatic about tropical plants, palms and banana trees. They're obviously all in pots that I take indoors, and I lose them from time to time. (Had a coconut palm th...
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