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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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Monday - May 15, 2006

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Repairing damage to perennials from hailstorm
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

We just had a tremendous hailstorm north of Georgetown. The hail was being blown horizontally and my perennials were sheared off at the ground. Is there any advice as to how to help these plants regain their vigor? I have applied a foliar spray of compost tea. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Soil additives with nitrogen and potassium will be important to encourage leaf growth and vigor, and additional compost around the plants will also help. If any are fall bloomers, they may revive enough over the next few months that they bloom on schedule. For the others, you may have to wait until next year to see blooms. Since they're perennials, all should survive to bloom next year.
 

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