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 Invasive Plants Questions

Comparisons of King Ranch Bluestem and Kleberg Bluestem grasses
September 03, 2008 - Regarding your answer to a question from Wimberly Tx on November 17 2007 about KR Bluestem: Many people confuse King Ranch Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum) with Kleberg Bluestem (Dichanthium annulatu...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of consuming Rapistrum rugosum
April 21, 2007 - Reference: "Bastard Cabbage" (Rapistrum rugosum) Garden section of Austin American-Statesman (April 7, 2007) speaks of this weed. As a child, my parents used to pick, cook and eat this weed at the ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating gift plant from flowerbed
June 20, 2010 - A neighbor gave me cuttings of a lush green plant with a blue flower with a yellow center that is only open in morning. It has become very invasive. I cut it back and dug at least 6-12" deep to get t...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating suckers from roots of Moraine locust in Hilliard, OH
July 07, 2009 - We removed a large Moraine Locust tree and also the stump. Now little trees from the roots are coming up. How do we get rid of these so something else can be planted?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
August 31, 2012 - I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
view the full question and answer

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