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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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Monday - June 29, 2009

From: Canton, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Pruning of non-native weigela and roses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Red Prince wiegala (spelling?) and while most of the branches have leaves and red flowers, there are some branches that never produced any leaves or flowers. Should I prune them? If so, can I do it now or should I wait for the fall? I also have this very same issue for Red Razz Knockout Roses if you could please advise... Thank You!

ANSWER:

Due to the large volume of questions, we ask that you please limit your questions to topics related to North American native plants. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. 

Weigela is native to temperate Asia. Basically, what you are asking is how to prune a woody plant, so we found a BackyardGardener.com website with some good information on the Red Prince Weigela.

Most of the roses in commerce today are heavily hybridized to the point their original parentage would be almost impossible to obtain. Often the hybridized rose is given a trademarked name, which doesn't identify its origin at all. Roses largely originated in China, where they have been grown for thousands of years. We found an About.com website How and When to Prune Roses that should give you the general information you are looking for. 

 

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