Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 25, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Trees
Title: Disappearing oranges from Satsuma orange in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had many tiny future oranges on my Satsuma Orange Tree until a few days ago. Suddenly, all were gone except one. They weren't on the ground and the tree itself seems incredibly healthy. It is grown in a very large container in sunniest spot in my yard. Do you know what may have happened to all my oranges?

ANSWER:

Sudden fruit drop on an otherwise healthy tree would result in fruit lying on the ground. Animal nibbling would result in nibbled fruit on the ground. One orange left when all the others are gone is a clue. Conclusion of this amateur sleuth: someone has scarpered with your little oranges. It's hard to imagine why-they can't possibly have been big enough to use in a salad, they're not ready to be harvested for seeds, and they are not anything a pawn broker would be interested in. Possibly they are being used for a table decoration, or maybe there was a scavenger hunt for which miniature oranges earned extra points. This is a very sad commentary, if true, on ignoring property rights or abusing an attempt to beautify the area. We found nothing in our research that indicated Satsuma oranges ever spontaneously evaporated.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Container plants for pool area in Killeen TX
March 08, 2009 - We live in Central Texas (Killeen). We want to put some container plants around our pool. (backyard with pool is all cement). We want some larger stuff, like maybe bamboo, elephant ears, etc. What pla...
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants in an indoor space in Dallas
July 31, 2009 - Is there a native Texas plant that would be suited for an indoor application, such as large planters in a lobby space?
view the full question and answer

Planting Texas Persimmon in enclosed planter from San Angelo TX
May 23, 2013 - I want to plant a Texas Persimmon (in West Texas) in an enclosed planter 4' X 4' X 2.5' deep. What would be a good planting medium. Does it need to be deeper?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for small pots in sun in Austin
January 24, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! We are renting our house, so while we have a yard, the landlord would prefer us to only add plants to his landscaping in pots. I have filled some large ones, but have been una...
view the full question and answer

Making a raised garden bed in Texas
October 25, 2015 - I just bought a house in Ft Worth Texas and the soil is undisturbed red clay. I was told I probably would need to build a raised bed to make a 25 ft by 4-6 ft butterfly/humming bird/bee native flower ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.