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

Wednesday - July 31, 2013

From: Peoria, AZ
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Problems with non-native, invasive Japanese Privet from Peoria AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have Japanese Privit bushes. one out of 6 has started to grow very small leaves and does not look healthy. Moon Valley told me shortage of zinc, but that has not helped in 3 months. What can I do?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown; in your case, Maricopa County AZ. Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese Privet or Wax-Leaf Ligustrum) is native to Japan and Korea and is therefore is out of our range of expertise. It is considered an invasive plant according to this Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South. We can, however, make one supposition about the problem you are having with it in Arizona. This USDA Plant Profile does not show Ligustrum japonicum growing in Arizona at all. That doesn't mean it won't grow there, it just means it hasn't been reported as growing there. There may be a problem with the soils or the extreme heat you experience where you are.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Invasive Cissus trifoliata in Dallas
May 25, 2011 - I have finally identified an invasive, stinky vine in my urban landscape as Cissus trifoliata. It was waxy leaves, small greenish flowers, and small black berries. It appears to spread with undergrou...
view the full question and answer

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

Killing mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) with propane torch
January 14, 2010 - Can I kill mesquite with intense fire, such as a 1.2 million BTU propane torch? I know mesquite bounces back from cutting at the soil line. The trees are in Elgin. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Eastern Red Cedar Roots
March 17, 2016 - Would an Eastern Red Cedar root system damage underground irrigation pipes?
view the full question and answer

Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
August 19, 2011 - I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removin...
view the full question and answer

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