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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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Wednesday - September 02, 2009

From: Lebanon, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Question about non-native false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi. I have a False Aralia-8 stalks. Have had for a while and recently it has begun (and for the first time) dropping leaves. The stalks are getting pretty barren. I know the genreal care for the plant. My question is--is this worth trying to rehabilitate? I would be willing to try to repot, recheck for bugs/pests--don't see any disease, etc. I know the light and humidity preferences and FA's do not like salts. While many stalks look like they are losing foliage completely, some of the stalks actually have some new growth coming in. Any suggestions woudl be appreciated. I loved this plant and don't want to give up on it. I have not taken to local garden center to discuss. Thanks

ANSWER:

Schlefflera elegantissima (False aralia) is a native of New Caledonia, a collection of islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean.  Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America so we are not really the ones to advise you on what you should do with your false aralia.  I suggest you contact the UBC Botanical Gardens Forums or GardenWeb Forums with your question. I feel certain that in their many readers there are lots of people with experience with false aralia.

 

 

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