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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

Agua Dulce, CA
Sickly non-native plumerias in California
I have 5 plumeria plants in pots, between 2-3 years old. The beginning of the summer they all looked great and now were looking pretty sick, pale/yellowing leaves, burned areas & spots. I have a long ...
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Acton, CA
Plant in Las Vegas with fern-like foliage and yellow/orange/red flowers
We were in North Las Vegas and saw a beautiful plant, I would love to find it. It had a fern like foliage at the bottom with long thin stems and a flower clump at the top with yellow/orange/red flower...
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Palmdale, CA
Plum trees (Prunus spp.) poisonous to horses
Are fruitless plum trees poisonous to horses
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Palmdale, CA
Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?
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Newhall , CA
Trees with non-invasive roots or tops in Newhall CA
We would like to plant a tree with noninvasive roots near our garden wall and concrete driveway in a grassy area in the front yard facing west. This spot is very sunny in the afternoon with automatic ...
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Valencia, CA
Can I move my Dwarf Orange tree from California to Florida?
I am moving from California to Florida and have a small dwarf orange tree. Can I bring it with me to Florida? Thanks!
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Tujunga, CA
Groundcover for clay soil in Southern California
I live in Southern California and have hard packed clay soil in my yard. Could you recommend ground cover that would be green, low to the ground, require little water and survive in clay? I can't a...
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Montrose, CA
Christmas decorations on a live oak in Montrose CA
Is it OK to put Christmas lights and decorations on a live oak?
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Granada Hills, CA
Trimming back Agave havardiana
Hi.. thanks for all the great information on Agaves. We have a number of Agave Havardiana (blue) that love where we planted them. Several have gotten HUGE. So much so that they are starting to ge...
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Van Nuys, CA
Identification of spiny plant in Yucca Mesa, CA
I have a very prickly bush on my property near Yucca Mesa, CA, (high desert). 2 to 3 feet high. Branches mostly starting from the center near ground. Lots of 1 to 2 inch spines on branches. Dormant in...
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Burbank, CA
Source of non-native Cutweed from Burbank CA
Where to find Cutweed in southern California? If not, which nursery sell cutweed? or any cutweed powder to buy?
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Burbank, CA
Native vegetation of Burbank, CA
What is the native vegetation of Burbank, CA?
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Burbank, CA
Native trees for shade in Burbank, CA
I need a few ideas for a non-deciduous (or nearly non-deciduous)tree that grows fast and will provide shade. Shade need not be total. Chinese Elms come to mind but I'm not sure of the growth rate. ...
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Chatsworth, CA
Need trees & shrubs for a 2.5x45 ft. planter box in Chatsworth. CA.
We recently built a pool in our backyard and need to redo all the landscaping. We have a planter that is 45 feet long and about 2.5 feet wide. We'd like to put some trees in this planter that are n...
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Altadena, CA
Will Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) be toxic to chickens?
We are considering planting Carolina Cherry Laurels around our yard for dense hedging purposes. We are concerned because we have a small flock of free-ranging chickens who eat every seed and leaf in ...
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Altadena, CA
Smarty Plants on Ebenopsis
Why is the Texas Ebony, genus Pithecolobium, not in your database? Is it not a native? Thanks.
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Toluca Lake, CA
Problems with non-native Carrotwood tree in Toluca Lake CA
My Carrotwood tree leaves are turning yellow and curling down, Why? Also due to a bad trim, the outer limbs are dying. Can you tell me what is wrong? It is an old tree and I would like to save it!
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Studio City,, CA
Plants for steep slope in California
Where do I find out about the specific root structure of various California native plants? Are there shrubs that have tap roots & hence are good for steep slopes? The genus of any such plants that y...
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Sherman Oaks, CA
Evergreen tree for planter in Sherman Oaks CA
We have a large cinder block planter, 6ftx6ftx6ft,in the back of our building and would love to find a good evergreen accent tree (but not pine like). Planter is near a building so preferable it shoul...
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Studio City, CA
Eliminating and replacing Tradescantia species
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need advice. I recently figured out my 10 month old dog is highly allergic to Tradescantia sp, commonly known as the Spiderworts, and "Wandering Jew" which covers about h...
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Tarzana, , CA
Is it OK to plant Huisache in southern California?
We have a wonderful huisache growing on a very dry rocky/dusty slope. It has now sprouted babies and we are delighted because we have room for several more on this slope. I have some room on our front...
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