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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!

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Monday - October 07, 2013

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many of them in two area. They are curling up into semi tube shapes that resemble a closed Venus Fly Trap plant in shape. The plants appear to be otherwise healthy, with lots of new red growth appearing after the heavy 2" rainfall of about 10 days ago. I have sprayed them twice with Neem Oil mixed at the higher concentration that works for either Fungus or insects, and have seen no change. The curled leaves do not have any evidence of catepillar pupae or webs as might be the case with a leaf roller infestation, however, I DID notice when I last sprayed them with the Neem oil, that I did have some tiny moth like insects flying off as I sprayed them. Any suggestions or ideas? These are still under warranty, for a few more weeks, and I have talked to Home Depot where I bought them, and they have told me I can return them with no questions asked.

ANSWER:

It would be nice if you could return the photinias; read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer to see why,

 

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