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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 - September 24, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Failing to thrive of non-native rose bushes in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in NW Austin and I have lost one knockout rose bush this summer and it looks like another one is failing. The leaves on a cane turn yellow then brown. I do not see whiteflies or black spots or powdery mildew. What should I do?

ANSWER:

From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer:

"We are assuming you are referring to the Knock-Out rose, which is a recently hybridized floribunda rose. The Knock-Out is a trade name. There are very few members of the rosa genus native to North America; most, including the floribundas, are native to China. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. This plant is out of our area of expertise, but the link above will take you to a good article about them."

 

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