Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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
1 rating

Sunday - July 11, 2010

From: St. Petersburg, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native herbs being burned by pool chlorine in St. Petersburg, FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My herb garden is next to my swimming pool, which is serviced by a company using chlorine. I have found that on the two unsuccessful attempt to establish my herb garden, the herbs burn off after the pool is treated. Can the chlorine be the cause and what can I do to prevent this happening again, barring the obvious; i.e., moving the herbs, or not using the chlorine?

ANSWER:

We are assuming you are referring to the culinary herbs, like rosemary, thyme, lavender, etc., all of which are native to the Meditteranean area and therefore out of our range of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in whcih the plant is being grown. However, something in the environment that is damaging your herbs would likely be just as damaging to native plants with which you might replace them, so we will do a little research and see what we can find out.

From Spectrum Analysts, we found this article on Pool Water and Nearby Plants.  The information in this suggests to us that normal chlorinating practices around a pool should not affect the plants. So, our advice would be to either watch or consult with the pool maintenance company to determine exactly what they are doing that is causing the damage to the plants. Whatever it is, either they are going to have to stop it, or you are not going to have any garden there at all.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
April 02, 2009 - I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spot...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Walter Ernest Jones
February 24, 2005 - My parents are both huge gardening fans and for a mothers day present I would like to find a plant for her garden that has a connection with "walter ernest jones". Any part of this name would be gr...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native Houttuynia cordata (chameleon)
January 30, 2012 - I have a Houttuynia cordata chameleon plant in a clay pot. My zone is 9b and my yard is partial sun. Up until January, it was thriving. Now, it is dead. I think the cold killed it. I kept it moist at ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive mimosa trees
July 15, 2006 - I have a mimosa tree. The blooms on mine are very pale while I see many other trees with bright blooms. Is there anyway to change the color of the blooms? For instance, is the color due to the PH o...
view the full question and answer

Illegal to remove an orange blossom from ground in Florida from Atlantis FL
March 28, 2012 - Is there any law that prevents someone from removing an orange blossom from the ground in Florida?
view the full question and answer

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