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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Monday - June 18, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Graywater with soap on trees and shrubs from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I previously asked you about using rinse water from our top loading washer to water trees and flowers. I have two more questions: Can I use the soapy water to water trees and shrubs? Then I get an extra 10 gallons per load. Also, our Dynamite Crape Myrtles have a pink edge on the flowers. Is this normal?

ANSWER:

We pretty well emptied our basket of information on this subject in our previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer. You might go back and read the links we gave you in that one to refresh your memory.

As for your crape myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtle) is native to China, Korea and Japan, so we would have no information on its growth habits. Mr. Smarty Plants specializes in plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. Here is a whole page of pictures of Lagerstroemia indica 'Dynamite' that you can check for pink edges.

 

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