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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.

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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.

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Questions From Near You

Yakima , WA
Getting USDA Hardiness Zones on our website from Yakima WA
Since the Internet brings people from all over the United States, why don't you include the zone in which each plant can grow and survive. Or, is that too difficult to do?
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Yakima, WA
Container plants for Yakima WA
My condo complex has purchased large, pottery pots for around our pool. I need to choose low maintenance plants. hopefully something that takes limited water, etc.
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Yakima, WA
Care for a Campsis radicans in Yakima, WA
I have a Campsis radicans it is in a 7" pot and the plant is 20" tall. It was a clipping given to me by a lady that is now out of town. My question is: I live in zone 6a so do I leave it in the p...
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Cle Elum, WA
Recommended distance between blueberry plants
How far apart do I need to plant blueberry bushes?
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Benton City, WA
Plant for eastern facing side of house in Washington
I was considering putting some Lily of the Nile in front of the eastern facing side of my home. Is this plant a suitable choice for planting here in Eastern Washington?
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Benton City, WA
Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can ge...
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East Wenatchee, WA
Dog and kid barrier in East Wenatchee WA
I have about a 8 foot section between my driveway and the neighbor's yard, and their kids and dogs like to run through it! I would like to plant a non-invasive 4-6 foot growing shrub/bush of some s...
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Richland, WA
Preventing weeds in kinnikinnick in Richland WA
We planted our kinnickinick last Nov. and we live in Richland, WA, where it gets hot in the summer. We planted almost 500 of them on a hillside. Weeding is taking over our lives, to say the least. ...
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Richland, WA
Problems with non-native weeping willow
My weeping willow has black holish cracks in it. It is a yearling. Any suggestions? ...
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Leavenworth, WA
Indoor non-native palm tree turning yellow from Leavenworth WA
Why are my indoor palm plant leaves turning yellow. It's about 4 feet bought at local Home Depot store, and it was beautiful when I brought it home. It gets plenty of light. I have only had it for ...
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Kennewick, WA
Creating a garden based on fragrance
I would like to know which Fragrant Flowers are easy to grow and hearty for the climate i live in. Eastern part of washington state. Desert like in summer, warm summers.
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Buckley, WA
Spots on calycanthus petals from Buckley WA
Petals on calycanthus develop black spots the turn into holes. Problem appears shortly after buds open. Occurs every year. Foliage is healthy. Plant growing well and doubles or triples size every ...
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Eatonville, WA
How fast do trees grow?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I would like to know how to tell how much a tree will grow if the average of the trees are growing at the rate of approximately 3 to 3.5% annually. And how do they come up wi...
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Coulee City, WA
Native trees for horse pasture in eastern Washington
Hi. I live in Washington State (eastern)What type of trees can I grow in a pasture for horses? Best Regards,
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Maple Valley, WA
Erosion control plantings in Washington state
Hi, I am trying to do an eagle project that involves putting vegetation onto a hill to prevent erosion. I live in Washington state where there is plenty of rain so erosion is a big problem. We are t...
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Puyallup, WA
Yellowing leaves on non-native Betula pendula
I live in Puyallup, Washington. I purchased and planted a weeping birch on June 21, 2008. For the first few days all seemed well and the tree seemed to be settling in to its new home. Less than e...
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Auburn, WA
Native annuals for pollinators in King County, Washington
I live in King County, Washington State, and I have a plot in a community garden. Rather than plant food, I'd like to attract pollinators. I need to use native annuals rather than perennials as the c...
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Auburn, WA
Information on Lansium domesticum
Where can I purchase a Lansium domesticum plant ? Will it grow here in Auburn, Wa?
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Carnation, WA
Plant identification, possibly Actaea rubra, red baneberry
I came across a plant that has leaves similar to the astillbe shrub, stands about 3 feet high, and instead of a flower spire, has a chunk of bright red berries the size of medium-sized pearls atop its...
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Spanaway, WA
Plant identification
I have a tree growing in my backyard that has started to produce bean shaped blue berries the interior of the berry is red and the leaf shape is long and triangle and the stems the berries grow on are...
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Kent, WA
Datura in the state of Washington.
I have a datura species growing beneath my bird feeder. How did it get here in Western Washington?? It has the typical fragrant, tubular flowers & spiky seed pods. It has grown 3' tall & 4' wide. Am...
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