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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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Thursday - May 16, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Pruning practices from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin on trimming these back. Any tips?

ANSWER:

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question that both explains about our not having information on non-native plants and has a care suggestion for Dietes bicolor, also known as African iris or Bicolor iris, native to South Africa.

From Floridata, here is an article about Plumbago auriculata, also native to South Africa. This article has some information on care for the plant.

From SF Gate Home Guide How to Cut Back Japanese aralia. This plant is native to Japan and South Korea.

Since Mr. Smarty Plants lives in Austin, too, we would like for you to consider beginning to switch to plants native to Central Texas. We suggest you read our How-To Articles Using Native Plants  and A Guide To Native Plant Gardening.

 

 

 

 

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