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
4 ratings

Friday - August 18, 2006

From: Ashalnd, KY
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Coleus canina, animal detererrent
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I had purchased a plant about 4 years ago at Lowes that I planted in my flower gardens that was a pet deterrent. I cannot remember the name of that plant now? I have spoke to Lowes and others and I am being told there is no such thing? I know there is? Do you know what that plant is called? Thank you.

ANSWER:

You probably bought a plant known as Scardy Cat! or Dog's Gone! or Bunnies Gone!—all the same plant, Coleus canina Sumcol 01 (synonym = Plectranthus caninus). The plant belongs to the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family) and is a native of Africa. It has an odor that has been described as smelling like tomcat pee and has acquired the name in England of the Pee-off plant. Luckily, its smell is only evident to animals with more sensitive noses (cats, dogs, foxes, etc.) than humans. It is only offensive to humans if the plant is crushed or rubbed. You can read more about the product from scardy-cat.com

The cat-repellant.info web page has other suggestions for keeping cats away from forbidden areas.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Care for non-native Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon)
August 30, 2005 - I am moving into a new home and have been told that the two plants in my front yard are called Hearts of Sharon. I need to know how to care for them and when and how to prune them so that they dont gr...
view the full question and answer

Comparison of native and non-native bulbs from Fayetteville NC
November 28, 2010 - I am just a gardener seeking natives. As I could not find Crinum americanum bulbs/plants specifically, I checked further online. Here's an excerpt of what I found from the Louisiana Native Plant Soci...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Ruellia brittoniana in Missouri
October 03, 2015 - I live in Missouri and have five beautiful Mexican Petunia or Ruellia brittoniana planted and established in my landscaping. With winter fast approaching, I would love advise on how to winterize the p...
view the full question and answer

Color in non-native portulaca from Beach Haven NJ
July 21, 2011 - I bought a portulaca in a hanging basket and divided it up and planted it in my garden. It is doing ok..but I have almost entirely orange flowers..maybe two reds. I was hoping for multi-colored..red...
view the full question and answer

Red Shrimp Plant Poisonous for Dogs?
March 07, 2015 - Is the Red Shrimp Plant poison to dogs?
view the full question and answer

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