En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 22, 2010

From: Everett, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Why are the leaves on my Laurel hedge turning brown in Everett, WA?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our laurel hedge seems to have brown leaves on the top of the bush. We haven't had a freezing winter so we are trying to figure out why some of the leaves are brown.

ANSWER:

Laurel is commonly used as a common name, so Mr. Smarty Plants is just guessing that your hedge may be English Laurel, also known as Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus). It is a popular specimen shrub in the northwest  US, but is a native of Southeast Europe and Southwest Asia. Since the focus of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the care, protection, and propagation  of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown, this plant lies outside the area of our expertise.

You mentioned that you didn't experience freezing temperatures, but browning leaves can be a symptom of other plant problems.

The questions you should ask are: has this happened before?, and what is different this year from last year? Browning can result from under or over-watering. Click here for information about watering plants.

For information closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Snohomish County office of Washington State University Extension Service.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Can lantana be grown in British Columbia from Vernon BC
October 20, 2012 - Can I grow lantana in Vernon B.C. Canada?
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native Sago palms in Austin
November 28, 2010 - We have two pillars, one on each side of our front door. There is a sago palm in front of each pillar. It is a dramatic and beautiful look, but the palms, facing north and in shade, are growing so tha...
view the full question and answer

TIF 419 Bermudagrass vs. Zoysia
September 03, 2008 - I'm currently faced with the decision to sod my yard with TIF 419 or Zoysia. Zoysia is double the price so my knee jerk reaction is to go with Bermuda. Proponents of Zoysia claim it requires less m...
view the full question and answer

Source for nitrates and phosphorus (P205) for lawn care
July 04, 2008 - I recently supplied soil samples from my back yard to my local extension here in Austin. I have a hybrid Bermuda turf grass (TIF 419) that has had its share of ups and downs, and wanted to assess the ...
view the full question and answer

Needs Help with Peonies
January 14, 2011 - With the clay soil in North Texas (Frisco) which variety of peony would thrive and become a reliable bloomer? I do work on amending the soil with expanded shell and compost, but ultimately, we still h...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center