En EspaŅol
Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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.

Support NPINHelp grow the Native Plant Information Network by giving to the Plant Database Fund or subcribing to Wildflower magazine.

Subscribe online now
Mr. Smarty Plants would give Wildflower magazine two thumbs up...if he had two thumbs.
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Merced, CA
Shade trees for horses in Merced, CA
I would like to plant some trees to provide shade for horses in the pasture. What native trees are drought resistant (water may be spotty in the summer) yet safe for the animals? I live in the Calif...
view the full question and answer

Merced, CA
What are the native fruit-bearing plants in North America?
What are the native fruit-bearing plants in North America?
view the full question and answer

Merced, CA
Replacement for waxleaf privet
i just removed some waxleaf privet due to reading about the invasive and allergy problem to it. Is indian hawthorn blueberry muffin any better? what shrub do you recommend? I want it to grow about 6-1...
view the full question and answer

Merced, CA
Evergreen shrubs for privacy in Merced County California
Mr. Smarty, A main road will be moving closer to our home in the next two years. A chain link fence will be put in but we would like to start planting now for privacy. We would appreciate any ide...
view the full question and answer

Los Banos, CA
Privacy shrubs and trees that are safe for horses in California
What type of privacy shrubs/trees can I plant that are safe around horses? I live in the central valley in CA. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Waterford, CA
Non-fruiting Willamette raspberry plant in Wateford CA
I have a 2 year old Willamette Raspberry plant that has many blooms, bees, great growing conditions, very healthy but has never set one fruit. I know about pruning. Any suggestions? It has been bloomi...
view the full question and answer

Waterford, CA
Information about empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
I have an Empress Tree, 3 yrs old, and the limbs grow straight out from the trunk about 2-3ft and then grow straight upward. When do they start to grow outward for a canopy??
view the full question and answer

Waterford, CA
Beneficial characteristics of Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed)
I have a surprise Polk weed plant growing in my back yard, does it have any beneficial uses,and if not, how best to eradicate it. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Newman, CA
Growing grapes from seed in California
Can I grow grapes from seed? If so, what is procedure?
view the full question and answer

Mariposa, CA
Deer eating creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata)
We have Creosote Bushes (Larrea tridentata) that grow wild on out 10 acres. The deer eat those plants all year 'round. Probably more in the dry times of the year. Just wanted to let you know that t...
view the full question and answer

Mariposa, CA
Washingtonia palms need to be skirted?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have five Washingtonia palms on my property that have never been skirted and look rather shabby. The interesting thing is that they have thrived (20-30 ft) here to begin with...
view the full question and answer

Madera, CA
Removal and disposal of very invasive non-native water hyacinth
I was given some Eichhornia crassipes, don't know how to care for them. Do you put them in some potting soil then put the pot in water? When do they bloom? Can they stay in the water during winter in...
view the full question and answer

Crows Landing, CA
Trees with non-invasive roots for California
My family is currently in the process of redoing our entire yard. A huge task I might add! We had fruitless mulberries planted and one Modesto Ash. As much as we loved them we are hating their roots. ...
view the full question and answer

Modesto, CA
Plants addicted to caffeine
Im doing a science project on if plants can get addicted to caffeine, but coffee in general and i was wondering what materials you need to figure that out.
view the full question and answer

Modesto, CA
Native groundcover for central California
In Modesto, CA. Hot summers, cold winters. Need a low ground cover for area next to driveway approx. 5ft X 14ft. that stays green all year round. I did have grass there but neigbors lawn is loaded wit...
view the full question and answer

KERMAN, CA
Duck-resistant plants for pond in California
I want to plant around a water pond and I need some plants that my ducks will not destroy. Please help.
view the full question and answer

Rolling Hills, CA
Plants for erosion control in horse pasture
I have erosion on a slope, southwestern facing, minimal shade in Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA. The soil is rocky and clayish. The hillside is in the middle of a horse paddock and barn. What plants woul...
view the full question and answer

Sonora, CA
Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
view the full question and answer

Sonora, CA
Non native crape myrtle changing bloom colors in Sonora CA
I have a Red Rocket Crape Myrtle that was planted a little over a year ago. Last year the bloom was a beautiful deep red and this year it is a Mauvie pink. Is there something I can do to bring it back...
view the full question and answer

Sonora, CA
Understory plants for Tuolumne Co., CA
My driveway is lined with purple plum trees. I would like to grow something underneath them. What can I grow that will not harm the root system/health of the trees?
view the full question and answer

sonora, CA
No Grapes on Vines in Sonora, CA
We have lived in our home since 2002 and have a grapevine that grows beautiful green lush leaves and vines every year but never has produced grapes. What can I do to get some grapes on this vine?
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center