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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 - March 06, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native begonias and Texas summer
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Austin, TX. I have two flower beds that each get plenty of sun during the day (8 to 10 hours in summer time). I love Begonias and was considering planting Begonias in my flowerbeds. Will Begonias survive the sun and heat of Texas summers?

ANSWER:

There are about 1500 species of begonias, which occur in subtropical and tropical climates in South and Central America, Africa and Southern Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. A plant adapted to the area where it is being grown will require less fertilizer, water and maintenance. Generally speaking, it sounds like you have too much sun in the area in which you wish to plant begonias, but since they are out of our range of expertise, we will refer you to this American Begonia Society website The Virtual Greenhouse.
 

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