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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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Tuesday - June 22, 2010

From: Deltona, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on the leaf itself, which spreads to cover most of surface and then the leaf dies. Do they have a fungus problem and can they be saved?

ANSWER:

From this Floridata site, Philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloeum) we learned that this plant is native to Paraguay and Brazil, and therefore out of our range of expertise, which is the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. From that site, we extracted this information about freeze damage for this plant:

"Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. This is one of the hardiest of all philodendrons. Frost may kill the leaves of tree philodendron or even kill the whole plant to the ground, but if the cold is not too severe and if the plant is well established, it will come back when warm weather returns. Indoors, keep temperatures above 55ºF (12.8 ºC) in winter and above 70ºF (21ºC) in summer."

Since this non-native does not appear in our Native Plant Database, we suggest you also go to this Plant-Care.com site Philodendrons in the Landscape.

 

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