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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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Friday - August 20, 2004

From: Delray Beach, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Smarty Plants on Gloxinias
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

How do I care for my newly acquired Gloxinias?

ANSWER:

Plants known commonly as gloxinia (botanical name Sinningia speciosa) are native to tropical south America (Brazil). Their care is similiar to african violets; keep them in a warm place in your house in bright, but indirect light. Provide tepid water at the base of the plant as the foliage is susceptible to fungal pathogens, causing either "spotting" or rot. The plant is tuberous, needs ample water, yet will not tolerate a wet crown and may appear to die-back after flowering. After flowering, slowly dry off tubers and store them in a dark, well ventilated cool location (not to exceed 50 degrees F).

 

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