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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!

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

 
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Saturday - June 20, 2009

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native althea in Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My white althea's leaves have a white edge, last year the bloom did not open. Is it sick?

ANSWER:

Hibiscus syriacus or althea, also known as Rose of Sharon, is a native of China and Taiwan, and therefore out of our range of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We are focused on the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Plants native to an area will be accustomed to the environment, including the climate, rainfall and soils, and require less water, fertilizer and maintenance.

For some leads to the answer you need, go to About.com:Landscaping - Rose of Sharon Bush.

 

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