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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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Monday - October 31, 2011

From: Kenosee Lake, SK
Region: Canada
Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Winterizing non-native sedum in Saskatchewan CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What should be done to winterize a autumn joy (sedum)?

ANSWER:

You get the "Stump Mr. Smarty Plants" award for the week. First, we had to figure out what "SK"  stood for. Next, since you needed help with winterizing the plant, we needed to know what temperatures it could withstand and what temperatures it would be growing in. That led to having to find a converter from Fahrenheit to Celsius temperatures. Since you live in southern Saskatchewan, borderiing on northern Montana, we were able to look at USDA Hardiness Zone maps and determine that you were in Zones 3a to 3b, which is pretty cold, at least for someone living in Texas. We found very little information dealing with sedums at cold temperatures, but finally found this article from The Garden Helper, which told us this sedum was hardy from USDA Zones 4 to 10. The information that we gleaned from that website was that you could cut it back to the ground (and better do it before it starts getting too cold). and it would grow back in the Spring.

Continuing to play Detective Plants, we discovered that, while Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy' is a hybrid and therefor considered an "introduced" plant to both Canada and the United States, there are closely related sedums native to Saskachewan in our Native Plant Database. There we searched on "sedum" and indicated "Saskatchewan" in the drop-down lists of states and provinces in the Combination Search and got one result (out of 19 sedums native to North America), Sedum lanceolatum (Lanceleaf stonecrop). So now Mr. Smarty Plants has learned that sedums, which we always think of as hot climate plants, can indeed live in Canada. If you follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant, you will learn something about its growing conditions. At the bottom of that page, there is a link to Google for more information. From there we found this site Saskatchewan Wildflowers on Sedum lanceolatum (Lanceleaf stonecrop).

 

From the Image Gallery


Spearleaf stonecrop
Sedum lanceolatum

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