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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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Monday - June 25, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native bougainvillea from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Bougainvillea isn't a native, but since they are so prevalent here, I hope you can help. I have three, one established in-the-ground, which is pruned almost to the ground every winter; two new this year. I'm east in heavy clay. The two new ones were planted in LARGE holes with soil highly amended with sand, garden soil, sand, more sand, and a little compost.. all mixed about half-and-half with yard dirt. They are growing like crazy, but the leaves are puckering and rolling up on the edges. They're not wilting and I haven't seen any bugs. I don't think I'm overwatering, since they get the same treatment [and full sun] as the established plant. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER:

We're very sorry, but we must decline to directly address your question.  The focus of our research and the extent of our expertise are limited to plants native to North America.  We hope you understand.  However, we may be able to point you in the direction of more helpful resources.  The user forums on the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden's website are an excellent source of information for non-native plant culture.  Other potentially helpful resources are listed below:

The National Bougainvillea Society

Bougainvillea (from Austin)

Bougainvillea 101

Bougainvillea from Aggie Horticulture

 

 

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