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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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Wednesday - June 17, 2015

From: St. Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Soils
Title: Native Plants by Soil Type
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Can't find an appropriate place to ask this - would love to be able to search for plants that do best in acidic soil (soil pH) another filter on the search screen. May not be there because the data doesn't exist for all of the plants in terms of the specific pH but acid/acidic does also appear sometimes in the soil description.

ANSWER:

Good question! It is a bit challenging to find native plants listed by their soil pH levels. So to get this information another way, take a look at the soil acidity maps for the U.S. at the Biota of North America website and you will get a good overview of where the acidic and alkaline soils are across the country. You can click on your state and get more specific information about the soil pH for your county. With this information you can look for the native plants in acidic or alkaline soil regions and start to make your lists. This webpage also has some other interesting soil maps too if you are interested - moisture, soil depth, volcanic soils and more. The Missouri Botanical Garden has a good landscaping with native plants information sheet online that might be of interest to you as well.

 

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