Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - April 30, 2013

From: Pacific Plsds, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, User Comments, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Are agaves really native from Pacific Palisades CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just replied re agave issues, and mistakenly asked the source of your information. I see that you clearly noted it, apologies. I would note, however, that the Riverside area is very much a hot, inland area, and San Diego county includes the nation's largest desert state park, mere miles from the Mexico border. The mid and upper California Coastal mountain ranges have a completely different, milder, wetter environment.

ANSWER:

Since your question was about getting rid of them, the nativity really isn't the big issue. A weed is a plant where you don't want it. If the plant is native to the state where it is, that isn't necessarily a free ticket to stay there. However, whoever planted those agaves was justified in that they are native to California, and native close to the area where they were planted. They are desert plants and if they have found a very comfortable place to grow, they could be characterized as invasive. Bottom line: they are there, they are native there and getting them out is going to be very difficult. Short of a time machine whereby the planters could go back and not plant them, your choices are: get permission to have them removed (if that is necessary), pay a contractor to move them (and you will still have "pups" no matter what you do), or do it yourself. They are tough survivor plants, evolved to survive in a difficult environment and there is no spray you can buy at the home improvement store that will solve the problem.

 

More User Comments Questions

Native violets under maples from Gettysburg PA
July 06, 2012 - Just for your info (no need to post or reply), I saw an old post of a question of something to grow under maples. In central PA, native violets grow very well under several species of maples in lawns...
view the full question and answer

Gardening advice for Ontario, Canada
April 20, 2011 - HI there. I see most of the readers are in CA, I am in Ontario Canada. I am in need of some advice on a nice flowering all year round garden for both sun/partial sun/shade garden. Some for direct sun ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native avocado trees in Rio Grande Valley from Austin
January 05, 2013 - I just read the article in the Austin American Statesman about growing avocados outdoors. Don't know if they grow here, but they certainly don't just grow in south Florida. I used to live in Wesla...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistance Input from Northern VA
June 22, 2016 - Hello. I live in the deer infested woods of Northern VA. I am always looking for plants that deer have little interest in to cover other plants. The deer generally have little interest in mints (Py...
view the full question and answer

User comments on soils from Austin
July 02, 2013 - You had a question this month about chlorosis in a Mexican plum in Bellaire. You correctly, in my opinion, answered that the problem was most likely overwatering. However, I just wanted to point out a...
view the full question and answer

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