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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

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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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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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
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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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
Effect of herbicides on frogs
I live in a planned development adjacent to a natural waterway that contains native and non native plants. It also is an amphibian habitat with many frogs. The landscape manager has sprayed the ar...
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Oceanside, CA
Privacy screen for pool in California
Hi, We have new neighbors overlooking our pool and peering into our house. We want to put up a privacy screen along our back fence that runs the length of the pool, but the border running along the ...
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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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Carlsbad, CA
Identification of tree in California
A medium-size tree with shiny green leaves toward the bottom and garnet red ones toward the top of the tree. The leaves are narrow with saw-toothed edges. There are clustered small white flowers with ...
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Carlsbad, CA
Shrubs to stabilize steep slope in California
Suggest shrubs to stabilize steep bank that are drought resistant and resistant to too much rain. Cape honeysuckle? oleander? bottle brush? What?
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Carlsbad, CA
Fast growing non-invasive flowering tree from Carlsbad CA
Looking for fast growing flowering tree with non-invasive roots.
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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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san marcos, CA
Photinia toxicity to dogs
is the photinia bush toxic to dogs??
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