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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 - April 05, 2010

From: Deland, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Slow growing, non-native Viburnum sandanqua in Deland FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi. I live in central FL, and planted sandankwa viburnum as a hedge 3 years ago. I was told they would grow quickly, but they are growing very slowly, although they look healthy with deep green leaves. What can I do to speed things up?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. According to this Floridata website Viburnum suspensum, Sandanqua Viburnum, is a native of Okinawa and other members of the Ryuku Island Chain. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10; since you are in Zone 9a, it is comfortable where it is. The Floridata site said it had a "fairly rapid" growth, needed part shade to shade and good drainage. Plant retailers would be able to translate "fairly" into "rapid growing." We know of no way to speed up a plant's growth beyond satisfying all of its growing requirements, and even then, it will do what its genetic background tells it to do.

 

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