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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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Thursday - July 05, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Lavender Problem in Austin, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am having a problem with two of my lavender plants and was hoping I could send a photo of each to get your opinion. I've been growing rosemary and lavender successfully for quite sometime and am aware that typically the problem is too much water or not enough soil drainage but one plant was in a pot that seemed like it had too many drainage homes in it so I planted it in the ground where I have several rosemary plant doing well and it got even worse. The leaves are turning grey, then brown. My other lavender plant is in a pit it's been in for quite a long time and had been doing great. In fact where it was previously, I was worried it got too much sprinkler action but it was thriving. I moved to the front yard to an equally sunny spot and the longer older leaves seem to be turning yellow, then brown. From research that seems to be a typical sign of too much water but it's getting less water now than previously. The first specimen I spoke of is almost dead and might be a lost cause but I'd sure like to know what I'm doing wrong!

ANSWER:

We're very sorry, but we are not the correct resource to find answers to the questions you're asking.  Although the Lavenders (Lavendula spp.) are fairly well-adapted to central Texas, many people don't realize that none of the species are native to North America.  The focus of research and the extent of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is limited to those plant native to North America.

An excellent resource for identification and culture information for non-native plants is the user forums of the Botanical Garden at the University of British Columbia.  Another resource is your county's AgriLife Extension Service agent.

 

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