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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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Friday - January 04, 2008

From: McAllen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of the non-native Aralias (Genus Polyscias)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Today I purchased a POLYSCIAS common name "Aralia" I was told that can be happy inside, little light. Please could you inform me how to take care: feeding, fertilizing, watering needs? Does it bloom? I love it, but they did not know much at the nursery. I live in McAllen, Texas (Rio Grande Valley)

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America. The Aralias (Genus Polyscias) are native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands and, as such, are really out of the area of our expertise. We can, however, guide you to some sources for information and care of your plants. George A. Elbert has an excellent description of the different species in "Prodigal Polysicas' Return" and Lynn McKamey writes about their "Care and Culture"—both on the Raphnis Gardens web site. Botany.com also has information about caring for and propagating them.

 

 

 

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