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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

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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Wednesday - April 09, 2014

From: Georgetown, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Dying foliage on non-native Otto Luyken Laurel from Georgetown KY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 5 luken laurel scrubs planted around foundation. They have done very well until this last winter..the foilage is now brown and crispy. Will they come back? Do I need to prune back the damage? I did give them some holly tone.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants not only native to North America but to the area in which they are being grown; in your case, Scott County, KY. While there is a plant named Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) native to North America, though not Kentucky, we are pretty sure you are referring to is a cultivar of Prunus Laurocelerasus (cherry laurel) known as 'Otto Luyken'. This plant. according to this article from SF Gate, How to Care for Otto Luyken Laurel Plants, is native to Europe and Iran, and therefore out of our realm of expertise. Also from SF Gate, Problems with Otto Luyken Laurel.  Sorry we couldn't help.

 

 

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