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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

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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Burbank, CA
Native vegetation of Burbank, CA
What is the native vegetation of Burbank, CA?
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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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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
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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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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Beverly Hills, CA
Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
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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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Los Angeles, CA
Privacy screen in front of cinderblock wall in Los Angeles
I'm looking for a privacy hedge to plant along my backyard's cinderblock wall in Los Angeles, CA. I need it to grow 10 - 15 feet and it can't be toxic to dogs. Any advice would be great!
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Los Angeles, CA
Strange form of Dasylirion sp. (sotol)
Mr. Smarty: I have a client with a huge (2 ft. diameter trunk), multi-headed dasylirion. On one or more of the heads, the leaves arch inward instead of outward. Someone said this is because of an inju...
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Los Angeles, CA
Plants to grow in high zinc, lead and copper soil in Los Angeles
We live on the Westside of Los Angeles and have just been given the bad news that our beds are high in zinc (86.39), lead (45.98) and copper(12.95). Can you recommend some plants that may grow in thes...
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Los Angeles, CA
Need to Landscape a Small Yard in Southern California
We live in Southern California, and have a small yard – approx. 40’ x 20.’ We want to remove the grass, which we are currently not irrigating, and replace with low maintenance, drought-tolerant plant...
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Los Angeles, CA
Eugenia Substitutes for Southern California
Is there a eugenia bush (preferable one that can grow tall) without berries. We like this plant but the berries create a problem. We live in Los Angeles, CA. Thank you.
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Los Angeles, CA
Brown flakes on prickly pear in Los Angeles
I live in Los Angeles CA. I have desert type plants in my landscape. I have prickly pear cactus that have developed some light brown, almost golden flakes on the skin of the pads. I believe it is call...
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Los Angeles, CA
Are century plants (Agave spp.) poisonous?
About 2 weeks ago, I was poked in the arm by a Century Plant, which caused a pretty big bruise to form. I didn't think much of it at first, but now, 2 weeks later, the bruise hasn't healed at all. S...
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Los Angeles, CA
Native shrubs for containers in Los Angeles, CA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants - We are looking for some non-vine potted plants to grow on our balcony for privacy in Los Angeles. The balcony receives partial direct sunlight & we would like the growth to...
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Los Angeles, CA
Trees around the inland waterways in Virginia
I am writing a piece about Virginia Beach, Virginia. Could you tell me other than Pine what trees are found in the forests around the inland waterways? Thank-you very much!
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Los Angeles, CA
Plant identification
I have a tall leafy green plant growing in my garden. It has long flowering limbs that bear a pod that looks like a tiny green pepper. It then turns purple and falls off. The flower that remains is...
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Los Angeles, CA
How Will Termite Fumigation Affect a Figvine
Will a termite fumigation kill a 19 year old figvine that is growing on a stucco house?
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