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
2 ratings

Wednesday - August 15, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native invasive creeping fig on oak tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a creeping fig in a pot that sits next to an oak tree. It took to the tree as a trellis and looks beautiful. My question is: is it doing the tree any harm?

ANSWER:

Creeping fig (Ficus pumila), is an Asian native, and although not listed as an invasive plant, it can be very agressive. Once it has attached itself to a surface it is very difficult to remove. If it continues to spread up your oak and reaches the branches with leaves, it could be a serious competitor for sunlight and be a real threat to the health of your oak. Mr. SP recommends you remove it from the oak and train it to trail on the ground (or build a trellis for it). If you train it to trail on the ground, you will need to watch it and trim it to keep it from growing into areas where it isn't welcome.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
February 10, 2010 - When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Central Texas
July 01, 2013 - Hi. I recently moved into a remodeled home in Taylor, TX, and have experimented with Cabernet Savignon vines before. I have a 1/2 acre and a chain-link fence I want to put vines on. (I have a book o...
view the full question and answer

Mites in soil of house plants
June 25, 2008 - Hi there! I recently noticed tiny silver mites in the soil of my plants that I only notice after watering. These plants are indoors in on a window ledge (a dwarf palm, aloe plant and Hawaiian Scheffle...
view the full question and answer

Root cuttings for non-native, poisonous oleander from Mobile AL
December 16, 2010 - I need help with best method to root cuttings from my oleander tree. Please advise best method. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Lavender near Austin TX
July 10, 2011 - Are there places to view blooming lavender near Austin in July 2011?
view the full question and answer

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