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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

Laguna Hills, CA
Ground cover for Orange County, California
What ground cover do you suggest for an Orange Co., CA, backyard with a steep slope in 3-4 hours of sun? Needs to grow fast to beat the weeds. Something pretty would be nice! Thanks
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Lake Forest, CA
Small to medium drought-tolerant trees for Southern California
I am looking for drought tolerant trees to line one side of our 70 foot driveway. We live in Southern California. Currently, we have queen palms, but I would like something more native or drought to...
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Laguna Niguel, CA
Evergreen tree for Southern California coast
I need a tree that is evergreen, non invasive roots that is not messy that can be kept at around 20 feet. We are at the edge of the thermal layer from the ocean. Thanks.
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Trabuco Canyon, CA
Fast-growing tree for horse arena in Southern California
I live in Trabuco Canyon, CA, and we just lost an old Sycamore in our horse arena. I would like to replace it with some thing that is fast growing, and will be able to withstand life around horses, o...
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irvine, CA
Evergreen trees for a Southern California yard
Hello I live in Irvine, CA and I am looking for a tree for our front yard. We recently planted oaks but they did not survive the clay soil. Our landscaper wants to replace them with oaks or with ...
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Irvine , CA
Getting a senna to fill out from Irvine CA
I have a Senna of some kind, started from a seed by a friend. I got it as a small,six in high) seedling. After two years it is now blooming beautifully, but is a single thin stem 4 feet tall with ve...
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San Clemente, CA
Trees & shrubs, low water, no maintenance, disease & pest resistant
We need few Trees and shrubs to meet the following needs: - Low Water or best with a taproot for Ground Water - Clay Soil in Steep Slopes (25-40 degrees) - Low or No Maintenance. (hillside, no trim...
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Costa Mesa, CA
Tree with tap root for small area
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I'm looking for a tree with a tap root to plant for shade on the side of my patio. i have about a 4 foot area to plant in and it's 8 feet to my neighbors house. ..maybe somet...
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Newport Beach, CA
Relocating native oak trees in compacted soil
Can you replant and relocate small oak trees in compacted soil and will they grow or go into shock?
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Santa Ana, CA
Looking for seeds or plant of Fendlera wrightii
How I can get a plant or a seed of Fendlera Wrightii, Texas native bush.
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Santa Ana, CA
What flowers will ducks and swans not eat?
I live by ducks and swans. They love eating my flowers. Any suggestions on what flowering plants they won't eat?
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Santa Ana, CA
Hedge to cover chain link fence
Hi, I would like to hide 250 feet of 6' tall chain link fence on a western facing, sloped, very rocky soiled back yard I had to use a jack hammer to dig the holes. Esthetically I would like to be abl...
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Orange, CA
Bioswale in Orange CA
Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for plants for a bio-swale in Southern California. Do you have any suggestions for plants that do well in water but can also can handle long dry summers?
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Orange, CA
Plant identification of a potted vine in California
Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
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Villa Park, CA
Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
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Anaheim Hills, CA
Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
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Arcilla, CA
What gives the Creosote bush its characteristic smell?
Good evening, Mr. Smarty Plants, There is a question which I would please like to ask regarding a plant called "Creosote Bush" (Larrea tridentata)- does it actually smell like the creosote...
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Huntington Beach, CA
Small tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
I have the exact same question as a previous tree question from Huntington Beach California. When I click on the answer it brings up another question. I would like to know the answer given for the 10 ...
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Huntington Beach, CA
Small flowering tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
I am looking for a short approx. 10 foot tall tree to plant in the 2 corners of my backyard near a wall. I would like them to be thin approx. 5 feet wide where light can get through so my other plant...
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Huntington Beach,, CA
Plants for wall behind pool in Huntingdon Beach California
I have a backyard pool and I just removed a messy ivy hedge that grew along the back block wall. The plant was shedding too much leaves. I would like the new plant to hide the fence and grow close en...
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Huntington Beach, CA
Loss of bloom on Fremontodendron californicum in California
The flowers on my Flannel Bush all died at once I have noticed a sappy substance at the base of the trunk. There are still some flowers on bush but most are dead. It has been blooming since Feb. Is ...
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