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

Friday - September 07, 2007

From: Madera, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Removal and disposal of very invasive non-native water hyacinth
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was given some Eichhornia crassipes, don't know how to care for them. Do you put them in some potting soil then put the pot in water? When do they bloom? Can they stay in the water during winter in western California? What kind of plant food do they take? Hope you can help me.

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, one of the reasons we are focused on use of native plants only is to prevent the use and spread of non-native invasives. Eichhornia crassipes, water hyacinth, is one of the worst of the non-native invasives, and has even been referred to as the "one of the worst weeds in the world". Please read the information at the University of Florida link above to get more information about this native of the Amazon Basin of South America. We urge you not only to not plant this species, but to discard it in a way that will ensure its not entering any body of water. You surely don't want to be the bearer of trouble for more waterways in California, where floating mats of this invasive are already a matter of concern.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Various landscape problems in Omaha, NE.
June 18, 2015 - Thank you for your time, sorry i cant sort this out because my issue seems to fit many but also none of the issues I've read about. Some patches of grass in my lawn have yellow spots and dying and/or...
view the full question and answer

Italy in Texas
July 02, 2008 - Just want to clear up that I'm not in Italy, VERMONT. I'm in Italy, TEXAS. I don't know how the state slot changed from TX to Vermont, but please, I'm like you, lets just stick to TEXAS !
view the full question and answer

Care of lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
May 17, 2008 - How do I grow the lemon cypress in zone 7? I bought one today at Home Depot in Granbury,TX. It had no information. Should I put it in the shade or sun?
view the full question and answer

Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
October 17, 2013 - I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.
view the full question and answer

Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
September 12, 2006 - Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
view the full question and answer

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