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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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Sunday - January 27, 2008

From: altamonte springs, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native Navel Orange tree
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What kind of care does a Navel Orange tree need? Mine looks really bad this year, not much fruit and small fruit.

ANSWER:

Navel oranges seem to be having some problems this year, as we have a recent previous question that also dealt with mysterious poor health. You will find in that previous question two other weblinks that cover a lot of the problems with growing navel oranges.

Strictly speaking, since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center concentrates on plants native to North America, this particular plant does not fall into our normal field of activities. The first navel orange was imported into the United States in 1873 from Brazil. However, when someone asks us a question about a non-native plant they already own, we try to help out, and then urge them to replace it, if it becomes necessary to do so, with a plant native to their area that will have a natural tendency to adapt and do well for them.

 

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