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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

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

Alpine, CA
Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
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Alpine, CA
Identification of plant in wildflower show
Was in Julian California yesterday for a wild flower display. Had a bad stomach ache as I was walking around looking at the flowers. Saw this one. About 6 inches tall. Instead of leaves, it had wh...
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Alpine, CA
Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.
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Descanso, CA
Source for seeds of any species in the genus Choisya
Please let me know of any commercial or other sources for seed of any species in the genus Choisya. Only a small quantity would be needed. This seed is for research purposes and is urgently needed. ...
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El Cajon, CA
Replacing non-native iceplant in El Cajon CA
Help! We are clearing fungus dead iceplant on a massive steep bank. Should I avoid replacing it with more iceplant? Would myaporum prostrate be a better option? Fast growing, erosion resistant, zero m...
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Santee, CA
USDA Hardiness Zone of Rancho Bernardo, CA
What plant zone is Poway, Rancho Bernardo CA?
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Santee, CA
Evergreen for inland San Diego, California
I'm looking for an evergreen tree for my inland San Diego residence, 30 foot max height, growth speed is not important. I had decided on the carrotwood until I found your site and discovered the prob...
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Santee, CA
California native plants for a steep slope
We are looking for California native plants for a steep south facing slope that do not attract bees. Can you please provide a list?
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Ramona, CA
Plant identification.
Looking for the name of a green, bamboo-like plant with narrow leaves. Have no pictures.
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Ramona , CA
Plant identification sources for Southern California
I hike the trails here in Ramona a lot. I want to be able to identify the wildflowers as they bloom. They are beginning to bloom and I am afraid another year will come and go and I won't know the nam...
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La Mesa, CA
More on bluebonnets
Do you have a sense of a peak viewing time for Bluebonnets for this spring?
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La Mesa, CA
Caterpillars ate my Sophora in La Mesa, CA.
Before I noticed what was happening, my newly-planted 1 foot tall Sophora secundiflora was eaten by caterpillars. It now has no foliage. Do you think it will leaf out again?
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Poway, CA
Different kinds of plants living in subarctic areas
What are the different kinds of plants live in the subarctic areas?
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Poway, CA
Need Shade Trees for Entry in Poway, California
Hi - Our front door gets a lot of afternoon sun, so we'd like to plant a couple of shade trees near the entry way. Unfortunately we don't have much room between our entry path and the driveway, so...
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El Cerrito, CA
Fast-growing tree for privacy in Berkeley, CA
Help. I need fast growing tree for backyard privacy. Where in Berkeley is there a tree nursery to Buy Pittosporum trees? Thank you.
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Chula Vista, CA
Invasive mandevilla from Chula Vista CA
How can I rid my yard of mandevilla that has invaded from my neighbor's yard?
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San Diego, CA
Unusual vine in San Diego County, California
Dear Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants, I came across an unusual vine winding through a young Zumaque growing off the edge of a mesa in San Diego (coastal sage scrub). The small (fingernail-sized)leaves rough...
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San Diego, CA
Drought-tolerant trees for planters in San Diego
We need some ideas for a drought tolerant tree that will provide shade (4 foot raised planters in sunny location) not get too big when mature, and not too messy. San Diego
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San Diego, CA
Can oleander poison the ground below it?
Can oleander poison the ground below it? Would it kill/damage grass or other plants below it? Thanks.
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San Diego, CA
Seeds of agave attenuata from San Diego CA
After the agave attenuata bloom dried up there are seeds like thing hanging on the foxtail; do I leave it until it dies or do I chop that down. Are those seeds for propagation. The leaves of the plan...
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san diego, CA
Smarty Plants on books for Southwest New Mexico
Which book would you reccommend for Native plants and flowers for Southwest New Mexico - Silver City area?
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