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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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Questions From Near You

Nipomo, CA
Is Purple Hopseed poisonous to dogs?
Is the Purple Hopseed plant safe for dogs? We would like to plant a hedge of the purple hopseed at my parents home. They are elderly and have a small (8lb.) dog that they just love so much..I would ...
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Arroyo Grande, CA
Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
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Grover Beach, CA
Identification of yellow fruit with many fingers
This is a yellow lemon smelling fruit with many fingers. Yellow in color. Looks like an octopus.
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Shell Beach, CA
Over-trimmed junipers in Shell Beach CA
Help! My husband decided to "trim" the juniper bushes that are in front of our house that create a great private front yard. I guess he cut back into the dead wood and now nothing is regrowing. It'...
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Finding pictures in the Image Gallery from San Luis Obispo CA
How can I select a picture when I don't know the photographer or anything else, just the name of the plant?
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Is the California Poppy posionous to dogs?
Can you tell me if the wild orange-colored California poppy is poisonous to dogs? They grow like weeds in my yard. Thanks.
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Native, non-invasive vines for wall cover in California
I live on the Central Coast in California. I have a stucco garage wall, which receives full sun, and faces West. I would like to plant a climbing vine to cover the wall, and was considering a clim...
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Vine for trellis in California
What type of climbing flower/plant would grow best on a trellis in an alcove that receives morning sun from a south eastern direction? I live in San Luis Obispo, CA. I have had good luck with jasmine ...
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Paso Robles, CA
Replacement for running bamboo in California
We currently have running bamboo planted next to the side our house facing West, which has provided wonderful shade in front of two large windows. However, because it is running bamboo we are afraid i...
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Cambria, CA
Plant identification of bamboo-like plant in California
We just bought a house in Cambria, CA. The plant I'd like to ID grows like bamboo -- spreading fibrous stalks abt 6' high with beautiful orange blossoms that protrude out the top of the stalk. The...
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Santa Barbara, CA
Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California
Hi, we live in Santa Barbara, California. We are looking for a tree between 20-30 feet high to block the neighbors two-story house yet the area we have to plant is 3 feet from the fence to the drivewa...
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Santa barbara, CA
Branching on plants
Hi Mr SmartyPlants, I would like to cause my cerus peruvinesus (sp?) to branch low to the ground and another plant to branch higher up..what causes branching & how can I duplicate this?
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santa barbara, CA
Response to previous answer on non-native cacti
Hi Mr. SmartyPlants, Santa Barbara here, again. Thanks for all your effort, especially as it falls outside of the Center's general expertise. That Cacti.com is amazing and I found the answer in the...
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Wasco, CA
Altering the flowering time of Phacelia tanacetifolia
I have been using Phacelia tanacetifolia as a forage plant in a 1 acre and 6 acre enclosure to mass rear the Blue Orchard Bee,(BOB), Osmia lignaria for use as a managed pollinator of almonds in Califo...
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Ojai, CA
Living fence of native plants for Ojai, CA
I would like to build a "green fence" about 10-15 feet tall. I live in Ojai, CA where we have VERY hot summers and it goes below freezing every winter. The soil does not seem to drain well..it is e...
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Bakersfield , CA
Low sedge for lawn in Bakersfield, CA
We have a small area for a lawn, but would like to get away from a traditional "lawn". Can you recommend a sedge grass that would act like a lawn (not much foot traffic)that can be mowed once in a w...
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Bakersfield, CA
Non-native vines poisonous from Bakersfield CA
Are pink bower vines and stars and stripes mandevilla toxic to dogs?
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Ventura, CA
Overwatering and fertilization of whiteleaf manzanita
Hi, I have an Arctostaphylos Dr. Hurd, southern California coast, several years old, 10 feet, that has a few large branches with yellowing and spotted leaves... also dropping many. causes? remedy? sh...
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Ventura, CA
Bald cypress knees in leachfield from Ventura CA
Hey, I planted a seedling 20+ years ago which has turned out to be a 40'bald cypress that's now 40'. I'm a native southerner and would hate to cut it down but it's putting up knees in my septic s...
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Santa Paula, CA
Supplier for non-native Norfolk Pine to East Texas
I would like to buy a Norfolk Pine Tree for my uncle who lives 90 miles east of Dallas, Texas. He saw my Norfolk Pine tree in CA which is 30 to 40 ft. tall. Where can I find a company that will ship...
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Camarillo, CA
California native vine
Hello, I am looking for a california native vine that can "cover" a wrought iron fence. I would like a vine that does not require too much care and can handle a fair amount of sun exposure.
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