Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Thursday - September 10, 2015

From: Belton, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Non-toxic evergreen shrub around duck pen
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Zone 6a, and am looking for a non-toxic evergreen shrub to use around our fence that pens in our ducks. It doesn't have to be native to our particular state. I have 74 feet of fence on the side we want to address first.

ANSWER:

We must tell you that we are bound by our mission and by institutional philosophy to recommend only those plant species native to a given area.  This is the very heart of what we do and what we're all about.  Unfortunately, we do not know of a single evergreen shrub species native to your area that would be suitable for the use you describe.  In general, though, unless your shrubs are fruit-bearing, there is little likelihood that your ducks will pay much attention to them.  Some shrubs, such as hollies, have male and female plants.  If choosing such a species, look for male cultivars.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need help with Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum
September 02, 2015 - We have about five Dwarf Wheeler Pittosporum plants. All of them are mature and were doing well. I was on vacation for a week or so and when I came back I saw of each of them is plant 90% dead. The d...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of lantanas in San Antonio
July 22, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have lantanas in our front yard. This summer the leaves have turned white and they die to a brown color all the while the leaves are "crispy". At the beginning of the season...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen, flowering hedge shrub for GA.
February 12, 2009 - Hi, there! I am looking for a shrub for planting as a hedge in Decatur, GA. I have hard acidic clay and I would like an evergreen flowering shrub to line the edges of my backyard to separate it from...
view the full question and answer

Native, non-invasive plants for Canaan Valley, WV
April 23, 2006 - I recently purchased a home on an acre of land in the middle of Canaan Valley, WV. The front yard is flat and sunny, the back is on a ridge and is a little forest with a creek at the bottom. The tre...
view the full question and answer

Hedge in Desert Full Sun
March 25, 2012 - We want a short hedge, 2-3 ft tall, small leaves that fill in to full looking hedge. It is in Phoenix Arizona area and gets full sun all afternoon
view the full question and answer

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