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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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Saturday - March 24, 2007

From: Orlando, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Soils
Title: Care of Ixora by lowering soil pH
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I have a bunch of Ixoras that the leaves are turning brown, before I pull them out, is there any kind of treatment to save them? I have used insecticidal soap several times but there has been no improvement. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Your problem may not be insects. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, Ixora are acid loving plants requiring organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or composted manure to lower soil pH. Alkaline soils can result in poor health and poor foliage. To learn more, read about Ixora care on the IFAS Extension website.

 

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