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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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Friday - January 18, 2013

From: Phenix City, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Soils, Shrubs
Title: Growing rabitteye blueberries in Phenix City AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What type soil is needed to grow rabbiteye blueberries?

ANSWER:

Vaccinium ashei (rabbiteye blueberry) is native to the American southeast, although it does not yet appear in our Native Plant Database, which is always a work in progress. From Texas A&M Agri LIFE Extension here is an article on Rabbiteye Blueberries which is  very specific on the soil requirements for this plant. This article is emphatic that they will not grow in alkaline soils, which means that anyone in Central Texas, where the Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is located is out of luck. They demand acidic soils, which you probably have in Alabama. According to this USDA Plant Profile map, they do grow natively in Barbour County, which is right next to Russell and Lee Counties, and we can assume that the soils there are also appropriate soils. We suggest that you contact the Alabama Cooperative Extension System for Lee County for specific information on your soils.

Here is more information from Floridata, including that the Rabbiteye Blueberry does not tolerate clay or soggy soils.

 

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