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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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Saturday - April 07, 2012

From: New York, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?

ANSWER:

We found only one pachysandra native to North America, Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge). According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, it is native to Pennsylvania but not New York; however, they are near enough that it would probably be all right in New York. Follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant, where you will learn that it is a woodland plant, and somewhat rare. We have a feeling that what you have is Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese pachysandra or Spurge), article from Ohio State University. From a New England 'Habitat Gardening' Blog, please read The Year I Shall Win the Pachysandra War.

Since we are accustomed to Southwestern plants, and are in the wrong climate for this woodland plant, we have no personal experience with it, but we would say that it looks like nothing, including daylilies, could faze it or even slow it down. Most, if not all, of the genus Hemerocallis ( to which the daylily belongs) is native to China, Korea and Japan and therefore will not appear in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, (home of Mr. Smarty Plants) is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. The reason for this is that plants native to an area are accustomed to the soils, rainfall and climate of that area by centuries of experince.

From the University of Minnesota Extension, here is an article on Growing Daylilies. From that, we learned that daylilies are also tough survivors, but we sure don't think they will harm the pachysandra. On the contrary, like fractious children, we recommend you keep them separated.

 

 

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