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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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Friday - May 29, 2009

From: Eden, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native windmill palm in Eden NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a potted windmill palm, about two weeks after being potted the leaves are turning yellow with brown spots on them. what have I done wrong?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which the plant is being grown. In this Floridata website, Trachycarpus fortunei you will see that it is native to China, and therefore out of our range of expertise. It is said to be the most cold-hardy palm available, hardy from USDA 7b to 10. Erie County is in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5a (average annual minimum temperature -20 to -10 deg. F) to Zone 6b (-5 to 0 deg F), so that might be the first clue to the problem. Beyond that, and the Floridata site above, we will refer you to this USDA Forest Service site on Trachycarpus fortunei.

 

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