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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 - May 10, 2010

From: Cleveland, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: How to care for non-native gardenia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My gardenia is about 20 years old about 5 feet tall and for the first time is leggy looking this year, not too many leaves and they don't look real healthy. Do I need to cut it back some. Last year it was full of blooms and beautiful. Thank you

ANSWER:

The Wildflower Center's focus and expertise are with plants native to North America.  Since the gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) is a native of China and Japan, we can't provide you with advice on its care.  We can, however, refer you to other sources for help. The internet has many resources related to plant care that can help you.  Google "gardenias care" and you will find many articles such as:  Gardenia Plant Care from LookToKnow Garden and How do I grow thriving gardenias from GardenWeb.  You can also pose your question on one of the gardening forums such as the GardenWeb Forums or the UBC Botanical Garden Forums.  Please visit us again if you have questions about North American native plants.

 

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