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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 22, 2016

From: Naples, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Lists, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Rabbit-proof Plants for Florida Swimming Pool Area
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I plan on planting white star jasmine and purple bocouilla plants around a south-facing swimming pool in Naples, Florida. I was told rabbits might eat them which we do have. Should I be concerned, and if so what type of similar colorful plants would you recommend?

ANSWER:

Liz Baessler on the Gardening Know How website says that Star Jasmine, also called Confederate jasmine, star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a vine that produces highly fragrant, white blossoms that attract bees. Native to China and Japan, it does very well in California and the southern U.S., where it provides excellent ground cover and climbing decoration.

A search on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre Native Plant Database and the internet did not turn up any information on purple bocouilla so I am not able to comment on the suitability of that plant. The Native Plant Database will give you some alternative native plants. Search for Florida and your light and soil types. 

Kevin Hughes, Owner of Kevin Hughes Plants says "Plants can get scale or woolly aphid, especially when grown against a wall. Voles and rabbits can be a problem in rural areas because they like to nibble through the young stems. But Trachelospermum will come back from the roots quite well."

For a list of rabbit resistant plants, take a look at the Williams Magical Garden Center & Landscape website. They are located in Naples, Florida and could be a good local resource of gardening information.

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

How do Venus flytraps really work?
May 13, 2010 - How do venus flytraps *really* work? I've read it has something to do with the hairs in their "mouth," but is there a chemical reaction going on? A physical "trigger"? Help me understand the Venu...
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of milkweed from Austin
September 12, 2013 - I help plant and maintain a Monarch Waystation Garden in San Leanna, Texas (South Austin). Should milkweed plants be cut back during the winter? Last year we cut them back a bit late and some died c...
view the full question and answer

Care for some non-native salvias from Austin
November 12, 2012 - Mexican bush sage and Salvia "indigo spires" are both blooming in my Austin beds right now. Once they stop blooming and/or frost gets them, could you tell me by how much they should be cut back? R...
view the full question and answer

Making a raised garden bed in Texas
October 25, 2015 - I just bought a house in Ft Worth Texas and the soil is undisturbed red clay. I was told I probably would need to build a raised bed to make a 25 ft by 4-6 ft butterfly/humming bird/bee native flower ...
view the full question and answer

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