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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 07, 2011

From: Manama, Bahrain
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Gardening in Bahrain
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hey, I'm living in Bahrain where the climate is really hot and the soil is kinda very salty. I've got my mango tree in the ground already, transferred it 2 months ago from the pot. I've noticed the tips of the leaves have turned brown because of the salt. After doing some research, I found out that leaching is the solution for this problem. I read about leaching soil in pots. What about a plant which has already been planted in the garden in the ground? How can I leach the soil in this situation? I heard of flooding the soil but is there something else I could try for mango tree? I've heard from some people that I could use bricks or wooden blocks in the ground keeping the roots maybe under the bricks and the leaves above with the soil being above the bricks. I don't really know much about this. Could you please help?

ANSWER:

We are really sorry, but this is way out of our realm of expertise. Perhaps you did not notice the paragraph where you entered your question that said the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center deals only with plants native to North America and to the place they are being grown. A mango tree native to Malaysia, India and Burma belongs neither here in the United States nor, for that matter, Bahrain. And we would have no idea about soil leaching, but we suggest you try to grow plants that belong in the soil where you are.

 

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