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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Thursday - February 13, 2014

From: Seguin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks
Title: Cutting back plants after frost from Seguin TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is best time to cut back native plants after frost kill? Thanks

ANSWER:

If the plants are annuals, forget it - they only live one year and are dead already. If they are perennial flowering plants, we usually recommend cutting back to about 6 inches in the late Fall, which you can do now, so you can see where the plant will be coming back up in the spring. Their roots should not have frozen if you had them in the ground, so they will come back soon. If they were shrubs, you will actually be doing your winter pruning. Trim back for shape - then whatever is left that does not leaf out can be trimmed back later.

 

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