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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

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 - September 02, 2005

From: Santa Fe, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Smarty Plants on Fan Scarlet-Cardinal
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a lobelia x speciosa (Fan Scarlet-Cardinal) plant and was wondering if I should dead head it after blossoming so that the plant continues to flower. Can you help? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Since it is so late in the growing season, deadheading your Fan Scarlet-Cardinal is not likely to result in a new flush of blooming. However, if you want to tidy up your garden, it won't hurt to deadhead the plants and remove the seeds since the seeds that fall won't be true breeding to produce your hybrid again. Next year if you want fuller, shorter plants with more flower spikes, you can try pinching back your hybrid lobelias early in the growing season.

 

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