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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Friday - March 25, 2011

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Water for non-native Sub-Zero ivy in El Paso
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Sub-Zero Ivy: Do they require lots of water - I live El Paso, TX - dry climate. Are they dangerous to dogs? Will they do well as ground cover around a brick patio? - Thanks!

ANSWER:

Hedera helix (of which Sub-Zero Ivy is a hybrid) is native to  Europe and Western Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and to the areas in which those plants are being grown. Yes, it requires lots of water and yes, it has toxins that can be dangerous to any animal that ingests them. It will not only cover the ground around a brick patio, it will cover the brick. It might cover the dog if he doesn't keep moving. Please read all about it in this Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted article. Also, check out this article from Dave's Garden on The Invaders: Hedera Helix.

We answer many, many questions from gardeners trying to get rid of invasive plants. The best way to control invasives, especially alien invasives, is to not plant them.

 

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