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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers Nan Hampton, Jimmy Mills and Barbara Medford to be the culpable and capable parties. Yet, others think staff members Damon Waitt, Joe Marcus and Philip Hawkins might 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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Questions From Near You

Litchfield Park, AZ
Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
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Sun City, AZ
Vines for Poolsides
We would like some color along the pool, but do not want anything with flowers because of the pool. Are there any non-flowering vines that will grow in full sun in Arizona? We have 2 trelis' that we ...
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Sun City, AZ
Problems with Texas Ash from Sun City, AZ
What might be causing the leaves on my Texas Ash tree to have brown spots and curl up and die?
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Peoria, AZ
Problems with non-native, invasive Japanese Privet from Peoria AZ
I have Japanese Privit bushes. one out of 6 has started to grow very small leaves and does not look healthy. Moon Valley told me shortage of zinc, but that has not helped in 3 months. What can I ...
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Surprise, AZ
Sprouts at base of holly in Surprise AZ
Friends have recently planted a holly tree in their front yard. They live in AZ and there is no grass (only rock) around their tree. It was planted as a fairly large tree (about 18 feet).My question i...
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Surprise, AZ
Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of...
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Surprise, AZ
Evergreen low litter tree for Surprise AZ
Looking for a shade tree about 10-15 ft max with low litter and green all year round/full sun.
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Glendale, AZ
Need plants for shade in Arizona.
Please suggest plants that I can plant in a shaded area. I live in Glendale, Arizona. The shade will be 100% of the time.
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Glendale, AZ
Non-native Filaree seeds for science classroom
Can I purchase Filaree seeds for my science classroom? If so, where?
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Glendale, AZ
Problems with non-native Japanese privet from Glendale AZ
We have Japanese privet shrub and they seem to be suffering from a disease, need help.
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Glendale, AZ
Queen Palm Fertilization in Arizona
I placed standard Miracle Grow in a root feeder device and inserted into the ground around all of my Queen Palms. Why have they taken a turn for the worse (furled tips on all new branches) Can you ov...
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Glendale, AZ
Will hybrid Tecoma stans attract hummingbirds from Glendale AZ
We bought a bells of fire plant; would like to know if hummingbirds like them?
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Glendale, AZ
Navel orange disease problems
I live in Glendale, Arizona. I hav a mature miniature navel orange tree. This year it has lost a considerable amount of leaves. Also the fruit all has a large yellow spot. It looks pitiful. What shoul...
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Sun City West , AZ
Tree options for patio in Sun City West, Arizona.
We have an area near our cement patio in Sun City West AZ where we would like to plant a shade tree. We planted a sissoo tree, but were told that the roots will damage the patio because of the proximi...
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Peoria, AZ
Shrubs for shade in Peoria, Arizona
My six-foot block wall is on the west side of my yard. There are two large shade trees in front of the wall. What kind of shrubs can I plant near this wall that only gets sun for about 2 hours in th...
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Buckeye , AZ
More on bluebonnets
I'd like to know if Texas Bluebonnets or even Aggiebonnets (maroon bluebonnets) can be grown in the Phoenix, AZ area. If so, what conditions would you recommend doing this in, as our spring and summe...
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Phoenix, AZ
Plants for erosion control in arid region
In semi arid south west (Phoenix), the drainage is managed by creating incised channels. Typically, the dirt channel can erode with even very low velocities of moving water. To reduce erosion therefor...
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Phoenix, AZ
Proximity of orange trees in Phoenix AZ
Do I need to plant my orange tree away from my neighbors orange tree?
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Phoenix, AZ
Cenizo safe for consumption by parrots from Phoenix AZ
Could you tell me if Cenizo, (Leucophyllum frutescens) branches and leaves can be fed to pets? (parrots)I read the leaves were often used for tea for humans, but can't find an information if safe fo...
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Phoenix, AZ
Non-flowering deciduous vine for Phoenix AZ
Are there any non-flowering deciduous vines native to the Southwest? I'd like to plant them to shade our windows in the hot Phoenix summers. If only perennials are available, can I cut it back each w...
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Phoenix, AZ
Projected longevity of Opuntia fragilis (Fragile Prickly Pear)
How long does Opuntia fragilis live? Thank you.
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