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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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Saturday - January 30, 2010

From: Rusk, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Yellowing branches on non-native sago palms after freeze in Rusk TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Sago Palms experienced a good freeze. Now they have a multitude of yellowing branches, in fact most of the plant is yellow. Please advise what to do to save my plants. They are about nine years old and very sizable.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnston Wildflower Center is committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area where they are being grown. Cycas revoluta,  Sago Palm, is a subtropical, native to the southernmost islands of Japan, an area of high rainfall and warm temperatures. The Sago Palm (not really a palm, but a cycad) is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10. Rusk is in Zone 8a, but the whole country has had most unusual cold weather recently. Here is an article from Floridata that might give you some clues on what to do about the yellowing branches. Please note this article's warning about the toxicity of the entire plant.
 

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