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?


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

Tuesday - June 07, 2011

From: Manama, Bahrain
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Gardening in Bahrain
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hey, I'm living in Bahrain where the climate is really hot and the soil is kinda very salty. I've got my mango tree in the ground already, transferred it 2 months ago from the pot. I've noticed the tips of the leaves have turned brown because of the salt. After doing some research, I found out that leaching is the solution for this problem. I read about leaching soil in pots. What about a plant which has already been planted in the garden in the ground? How can I leach the soil in this situation? I heard of flooding the soil but is there something else I could try for mango tree? I've heard from some people that I could use bricks or wooden blocks in the ground keeping the roots maybe under the bricks and the leaves above with the soil being above the bricks. I don't really know much about this. Could you please help?


We are really sorry, but this is way out of our realm of expertise. Perhaps you did not notice the paragraph where you entered your question that said the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center deals only with plants native to North America and to the place they are being grown. A mango tree native to Malaysia, India and Burma belongs neither here in the United States nor, for that matter, Bahrain. And we would have no idea about soil leaching, but we suggest you try to grow plants that belong in the soil where you are.


More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native, invasive bermudagrass from Memphis TN
August 17, 2012 - I live in central Memphis and have well-drained clay soil. I have converted much of the front yard from turf grass to beds of native plants, which survive our hot humid without supplemental watering e...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native plants
November 21, 2009 - What time of year is best to trim my Alamanda cathartica, and also my Plumbago auriculata? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Identifying problem with non-native plumbagos in San Antonio
November 21, 2009 - Barbara Medford answered my question on plumbagos..we have the ones that grow crazy in TX (not sure which species, but w/ the bright blue/purple blooms..). I have pictures and wasn't sure where to se...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bougainvillea in Beaufort SC
July 06, 2011 - Bougainvillea-Can I grow these in Beaufort SC?
view the full question and answer

Plants for under non-native fruitless mullberry trees from Ft. Worth TX
June 28, 2012 - I live in Tarrant county, where summer droughts are the norm. I have a 150x50 foot swathe of mature "fruitless mulberry" trees, which create a very shady atmosphere. The soil is clay dominated, ro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center