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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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Sunday - November 28, 2010

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Browning of non-native Plectranthus in Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Dallas and planted 'Mona Lavender' which is now brown and limp after overnight temps in the low 30's. Is it dead or will it come back? Do I need to cover these plants during the winter months? What care should be taken with these plants?

ANSWER:

Turns out 'Mona Lavender' is not, as we first thought, a selection of the Meditteranean plant Lavandula, but instead is a Plectranthus native to South Africa. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown, this falls out of our area of expertise. However, we found an article from Texas A&M Cooperative Extension, Bexar County on Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' which has answers to your questions. Since it is a tropical, it definitely should have been brought in, especially as far north in Texas as Dallas, and we don't know if it will recover.

Pictures of 'Mona Lavender' from Google

 

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