Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 - July 29, 2011

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native ixora full of weeds in Miami FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Ixoras are full of weeds look like some kind of berry. Is there a way to get rid of them?

ANSWER:

We are assuming you would like a quick and easy way to get rid of the "weeds," which may be native plants, while not harming your Ixora coccinea, Jungle Geranium, in the process. Ixora is native to southern India and Sri Lanka. 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 which those plants grow naturally. Here is an article from Floridata that has more information on the culture of Ixora.

We know that most of our correspondents want a spray that will selectively kill some plants and spare others. Unfortunately, there are really only 3 basic kinds of herbicides. A full spectrum herbicide will kill everything and melt your sidewalk, a herbicide for monocots will kill grasses and other narrow leaf plants. The third kind of herbicide kills broadleaf plants. Since the Ixora is a broadleaf plant, you don't want to use a broadleaf or dicot spray. Even trying to be careful and spray it directly on the offending weed will not work-once the spray leaves the nozzle it is free to drift where it will, with help from the wind.

The only safe way to get rid of weeds is to pull them out, and destroy the seeds before they have a chance to drop on the ground. The berries that you are seeing on the weeds are their seeds and your first priority is to cut them off and dispose of them, don't just snip them and leave them on the ground, that could lead to more of the same growing. If you can pull the whole plant out, good. If it is a woody or semi-woody plant, with a larger stem section near the ground, cut it off with heavy clippers as near to the soil as possible. Have some disposable sponge paintbrushes and a small jar of undiluted broad spectrum herbicide ready. Paint the herbicide on the cut surface of the plant root within 5 minutes before the root begins to heal over to protect itself. This will likely require several applications, and you will have to remain vigilant for suckers and seedlings appearing in other parts of your garden.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Plant native Lantana urticoides and not non-native
March 09, 2015 - San Antonio Water System does not want to assist invasive plants but we want to encourage Lantana sp but we need to know what Lantana camara hybrids are sterile
view the full question and answer

Identifying problem with non-native plumbagos in San Antonio
November 21, 2009 - Barbara Medford answered my question on plumbagos..we have the ones that grow crazy in TX (not sure which species, but w/ the bright blue/purple blooms..). I have pictures and wasn't sure where to se...
view the full question and answer

Seeds for invasive, non-native Erodium cicutarium
February 05, 2008 - I rec'd the following e-mail from a friend in he Chicago area. I looked for about an hour and couldn't find a place to get weed seeds. She thinks we are in the desert here and apparently are so rura...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf Form of Japanese Blueberry?
March 17, 2016 - Is there a dwarf variety of Japanese blueberry that will grow in my area? Or is it so non-native that it's not in your category?
view the full question and answer

Taking stock in where and what you grow in Denver Colorado
December 22, 2011 - I have two year old stock plants growing in a container in my home and they are finally starting to bloom. However, the buds open but don't produce any petals. Also they are experiencing yellow leave...
view the full question and answer

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