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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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Tuesday - June 09, 2009

From: Niagara Falls, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Watering
Title: Trailing snapdragon hanging basket has flowers that are turning brown.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Trailing snapdragon hanging basket in yellow, flowers are turning brown all over the plant. Why? I water every day as told & fertilized once in 3 weeks. It was so beautiful.

ANSWER:

The name "Snapdragon" has been applied to numerous plants. I found nine different plants in our Native Plant Database that had "snapdragon" as part of their common name, and one was called Creeping snapdragon Maurandella antirrhiniflora (roving sailor). I used the term "trailing snapdragon" to search on Google and found two different plants; one,  Antirrhinum majus is a native of the Mediterranean region, and the other, Asarina procumbens, is a native of Mexico. Our focus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is on plants native to North America, so these two are outsde our area expertise.

As to your problem, Mr. Smarty Plants is unaware of any plant growing in a container that requires daily watering. Your instructions may have said to keep the soil "evenly moist", but that is different from "wet". Your plant may be drowning, so reduce the frequency of watering and see if conditions improve. Also, since the plant is stressed, hold off on fertilizing until conditions improve.

 

 

 

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