Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - January 14, 2014

From: Los Angeles , CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Help with non-native plants in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am growing some beads of pearl in my front yard in front of a pepper tree that has been around for over 150 years. My question is what can I do to get my beads of pearl to grow without cutting down the tree. If you have suggestions I would appreciate it. Also are there any products that you could recommend to protect the beads of pearl from the toxins of the tree? Thanks

ANSWER:

First of all:  "The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  "Native" means native to North America.  The two plants you mention in your question are NOT native to North America.  Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls) is native to southwestern Africa and Schinus molle (Peruvian or California Pepper Tree) is native to Peru.  Since our focus and expertise are plants native to North America, this means you are asking the wrong source for help with your problems of growing String of Pearls.  Probably your best source would be contacting the University of California Agricultural Extension Los Angeles County.  They work with many different types of plants—crop plants, urban horticulture, and garden cultivars—most of which are not native.  Two of their divisions—Center for Landscape and Urban Horticulture and Gardening with the UC Master Gardening Program—might be the most useful.   The Master Gardening program gives an e-mail address where you can ask questions about gardening.  Additionally, if you search online using the scientific names of the two plants, you will find a wealth of information about both of them there.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Planting onions in Michigan
July 30, 2009 - Hello, I live in Mi in zone 5. Can I plant green onions now (7/30/09)? And will they have enough time to have for an October-ish harvast? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to my Norfolk Island Pine in Houston, TX
March 18, 2010 - Houston, Texas experienced a rare 3-day snow event this winter that allowed snow to stay on my 20 ft. Norfolk Pine, in the ground for over 10 yrs. Every branch is now brown with all dead foliage. I ha...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading a petunia and why
July 13, 2008 - Can you please tell me the correct way to de-head a petunia and why?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native African violets in Des Moines
January 08, 2010 - My violets have stopped blooming after years and have developed a growth in the middle of the plant. Can I save these plants and how can I revive them. Thank you, I am desperate to salvage them as the...
view the full question and answer

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