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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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Saturday - January 30, 2010

From: Cypress, CA
Region: California
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Can non-native Mayten tree be grown in 4 ft. container in Cypress CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a mayten tree that is about ten years old, in a planter about 4 ft. wide. We were told that the roots will not be a problem--true or false? So far, no problem, but how about going forward?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is devoted exclusively to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Maytenus boaria, Mayten Tree, is native to South America, most particularly Argentina, Brazil and Chile. This website from California Gardens.com will give you a little more information about the plant. We understand that the Mayten ordinarily grows 25 to 30 ft. tall, with a 25 ft. spread. Since the root systems of most trees correspond to, or are even wider than, the canopy it is hard to believe that could be contained in a 4 ft. planter.
 

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