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

Sunday - August 23, 2009

From: Raleigh, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Ruellia brittonia in Raleigh NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have discovered Mexican Petunias this year. I LOVE THEM! Beautiful plant. However, they are so tall and after a rain are leaning badly. Should I tie them back? Will they get stronger as they mature? I also have a low growing variety that I love. Can I divide it? I have a large, red clay hill that I have planted on behind my house. It would be beautiful to cover with the low growing variety.

ANSWER:

Ruellia brittonia, Mexican petunia, is native to Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, and therefore out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown.  They also are known to have the capacity for becoming invasive. Since they are not in our Native Plant Database, here are two websites with more information: Floridata and Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Division of impatiens grown in a pot
December 08, 2007 - I have an impatient and it is growing out of the pot. I was wondering if it were possible to divide it somehow and have two medium size plants.
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive rescue grass in meadow garden in Smithville TX
September 20, 2012 - Despite numerous efforts, a solid field of cool weather rescue grass keeps desired wildflower and grass seeds from successfully growing on my "vacant" lot in town. I plan to I put out a 6 ml plasti...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native cat palm
November 18, 2010 - Purchased 3 new cataractarum palms-3ft. high for indoors--how can I know when to water or how often?? I am from Canada & in Naples Florida for 6 months--I am a novice to these plants
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
July 09, 2010 - Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give...
view the full question and answer

Problem with acanthus in Vancouver BC
May 16, 2010 - My girlfriend's Mom just planted an Acanthus in her garden. In the morning, it apparently stands up tall, but in the evening it bends over until the the leaves are lying in the dirt. She's concerned...
view the full question and answer

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