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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 - June 02, 2012

From: Scottsdale, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Problems with non-native Eugenia in Scottsdale AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 5 eugenia topiaries in my courtyard in pots..I notice as the days here in Phoenix get hotter and dry (as usual) they are starting to look bad, even though they are under a shelter out of the direct sun..shall I bring them inside until it cools off in October? This is inconvenient as they will take a lot of space, but I really love them, and they were expensive to buy..thanks

ANSWER:

Eugenia myrtifolia is native to Australia and therefore out of Mr. Smarty Plants' jurisdiction. We recommend only plants native not only to North America but to the areas where they grow natively. We will look through Internet information to see if we can find out what growing conditions the plant needs. It could be soils, rainfall, amount of sunlight, excess heat, etc, so about all we can do is try to find resources for you to think about.

PlantCare.com Fruiting Myrtle (Eugenia) - Under "environment" this article says suitable only for a greenhouse.

Dave's Garden - lists only California and Florida as places where it grows

Denver Plants - under "temps" calls for normal indoor temps

Monrovia says it is often used as a hedge and can tolerate USDA Hardiness zones of 9 to 11. Maricopa County appears to be in USDA Hardiness Zones of 10a to 10b.

So, as you can see, we don't have a clue, because all these different websites say different things. Have you asked the supplier from which you bought it if they know anything about how or where it should be grown? Pictures

 

 

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