En Español

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?


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 - 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


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.


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.



More Non-Natives Questions

Native or non-native hibiscus for Kansas
August 13, 2005 - I recently purchased a 10" Hibiscus flowering plant and would like to know how to care for it. How much water and sunlight does it need and how long I can expect it to live? It is a beautiful plant a...
view the full question and answer

Information about non-native Epimedium
May 15, 2010 - What type of barrenwort (Epimedium) will grow well in Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Non-native bermudagrass dying under non-native globe willow in Granbury TX
July 14, 2010 - We have a beautiful globe willow in our back yard with bermuda grass. All the grass is thinning out or dying under the tree. What can we do, is there another glass we could use that blends well with...
view the full question and answer

Planting Mountain Laurel grown from seeds in Argentina
April 09, 2014 - Hello, I was transferred to Cordoba, Argentina 2 years ago from San Antonio, the climate hereis similar to S. TX, anyway I brought some mountain laurel seeds with me and they have been in 2 gallon pot...
view the full question and answer

Crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - Please don't bother to answer my question about how to treat a crepe myrtle with sticky stuff falling from it. I just found the answer on your site. Good site, by the way.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center