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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

Temecula, CA
Problem with non-native bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)
I live in Temecula, CA I have grown pink bower vines before with great success. I recently purchased 2 bower vines and planted them on each side of a trellis in full sun. They flower but do not grow...
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Temecula, CA
Water-wise plants for clay soil in southern California
My yard is clay. I'm removing turf to put in water-wise plants and bushes. I need some low growing bushes and medium height bushes that will grow in clay and that will stay green in the summer. Hopef...
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Temecula, CA
Privacy screen from Temecula CA
I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.
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Temecula, CA
Replacement for non-native wisteria in Temecula CA
We recently moved into a house that has a Wisteria bush that has taken over the patio cover. I wish to take it out because it is so messy and looks bad when it is dormant. I am trying to figure out ...
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Murrieta, CA
Selection of shade tree and distance from house
I live in California in zone 8b. I have seen the lists of trees for my area. I am still not clear on what tree to select. I would like to plant a nice tall shady tree very close to my house, but I wan...
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Murrieta, CA
Will arctostaphylos grow in Austin, from Murrieta CA
I currently live in Murrieta, CA at 2,000 ft. We planted 800 native plants on our slopes so they were extremely drought tolerant. One of my favorites is the Arctostaphylos family that will take the fr...
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Fallbrook, CA
Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
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Wildomar, CA
Red spots on white flower of Anemopsis californica
Do you know what the red spots are on the white flower of the California native, Anemopsis californica? Is it a fungus, insect, or just physiological?
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Bonsall, CA
Groundcover for Bonsall, CA
I live in Bonsall, CA. (San Diego) I have 3 acres, flat and sloped that are graded dirt. (DG and sheep poop from previous owner). It is getting close to mud season and I'd like to plant winter cover...
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Aguanga, CA
Evergreen shrub/small tree for screen in southern California
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants - I would like to find an evergreen hedge, ~15-20' (or so) to screen a busy road (noise and visual). I'm zone 8b - 92539 (close to) - light snow in winter (to -25) and can ge...
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Aguanga, CA
Native plants and possible poisonous plants in Aguanga, California
I am in the process of moving to Aguanga California. I am interested in knowing what the native plants are in that area. Are they poison to animals and kids?
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Aguanga, CA
Determining best time to harvest deer grass seeds in California
When is the best time to harvest deer grass seeds at about 4,000 feet in southern Riverside County California??
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Aguanga, CA
Trees native to Anza Valley California
What are the best trees to plant in Aguanga, California?
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Aguanga, CA
Origin of sticky, smelly substance on dog in Southern California
I just took my dog out (mid August) in Aguanga, CA (high desert) and, after coming back in, noted that his feet and legs were covered in a very sticky substance that STINKS - there is some kind of pla...
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Valley Center, CA
Plants that will grow under a magnolia tree.
We live in California near San Diego and have a Magnolia Tree. We have tried to plant many types of flowers around the tree only to have them die. Is there a particular type of plant that we should ...
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Vista, CA
Need plants to grow between flagstones in Vista, CA.
Hi, I have put in a flagstone patio set in DG. The DG is creating a very sandy messy surface on the flagstone, so want to plant a low ground cover between the joints. Its a fairly large area, in sun...
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Vista, CA
Are palm tree seeds toxic?
Are palm tree seeds toxic to other plants? I have palm trees around my pool and it seems that nothing will grow very good where the old seeds are in the ground.
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Vista, CA
Groundcover for erosion control
I live in southern california. What is the best groundcover to plant on a slope to prevent erosion?
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san marcos, CA
Photinia toxicity to dogs
is the photinia bush toxic to dogs??
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Oceanside, CA
Are berries from the Carrot Wood Tree toxic to animals?
Hello, I am trying to find out if the berries on the carrot wood tree are toxic to animals - dog?
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Oceanside, CA
Native plants to go between patio stones in Oceanside CA
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I live in Oceanside CA about 5 mi from the coast and have an about 20' sq private patio with "issues". Patio has with flagstones, one side all sun all day, middle area part...
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