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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 - June 25, 2015

From: Ocala, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Dog-safe Privacy Screen for Ocala, FL
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Am desperately searching for fast growing privacy that would be non toxic to dogs in Ocala, Florida (zone 9 I think). Wanted Leland cypress but due to toxicity it won't work.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants tends to divide and conquer on these kinds of questions.   In this first half of my answer I have a number of Mr Smarty Plants previous question/answer pairs that are from Florida and looking for privacy screening help:

What grows in Tampa FL   
Screening plant for wall in Florida        Lots of plant suggestions!
Privacy screen for wet area in Florida   
Privacy screen for Pace Florida  

This should give you good set of suggestions for screening plants.  Most are targeting the Tampa area, but you can check the USDA link {The line:  “USDA Symbol: ILOP “ in each record} and their map shows you where the plant is native down to the county.   I checked a number of the suggested plants and they are, in general, also native to Marion County, even the ones suggested for Pace.

   Once you have a few candidates for plants you may want – You can check these as to their effect on Dogs.  The two question/answer pairs noted below are some of our better ones for suggesting methods and reference lists as to plants that are toxic to dogs.  Of course, the plant not being on that list is not the same as declaring it non-toxic but it is a very good indication!

This past question to Mr. Smarty Plants from a resident of Muskogee asked a similar question to yours. The answer is worth exploring. It includes suggestions and a number of web sites that will help determine what plants are poisonous.  This question to Mr. Smarty Plants has an even more extensive list of sites that will help determine what plants you should avoid.

 

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