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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 - February 06, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Will frozen non-native agapanthus come back from freeze in Austin?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I don't know if its a native plant, but my agapanthus got frozen in our recent cold weather. Will they come back; should I trim off the tops?

ANSWER:

From Botany. com, we found this article on Agapanthus - African Lily. The common name probably gives you a good clue; this plant is native to South Africa. It is apparently semi-evergreen in mild climates, but the recent quick freeze in Austin does not represent "mild."

From Easy to Grow Bulbs.com we found an article on planting and caring for agapanthus, which included this phrase:

"In cold areas, bring your plants indoors when night temperatures begin to drop to the low 40s."

Sadly for your plants, this illustrates once more the principle behind the recommendations of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for planting only those plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Even in very mild winters, Austin will have temperatures below 40 deg. numerous times.

 

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