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

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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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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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Cle Elum, WA
Recommended distance between blueberry plants
How far apart do I need to plant blueberry bushes?
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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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Monroe, WA
Saving seeds of western red cedar from Monroe WA
I would like to know how to save and store seeds of western redcedar if not planning on planting them their current year.
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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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Redmond, WA
Leaves shriveling on non-native Japanese maple in Redmond WA
My husband and I bought a Japanese Maple 3 years ago which we planted in an old wine barrel for our patio, along with some ivy and grass to keep the surface covered. Until recently, it has been doing ...
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Redmond, WA
My Mock Orange fails to flower in Redmond, WA.
I planted a Mock Orange shrub about 5 years ago. The first few years, it only produced leaves but no blossoms. Then, last year, it finally produced 4-5 blossoms on 2 of the branches. This year, it a...
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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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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
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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Woodinville, WA
Eliminating yuccas from yard in Woodinville, WA
My plant areas are being overrun by Yucca plants. They are also growing and destroying my asphalt driveway. How can I get rid of some of them permanently?
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Woodinville, WA
Distressed non-native weeping willows in Washington State
What could be causing my weeping willows to be distressed year after year?
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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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Renton, WA
Native trees for property in Washington State
We bought a piece of property on Lake Wenatchee, Washington. It was cleared more than we would like and want to know what types of trees grow well there and can handle the snow. Should I wait until ...
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Bellevue, WA
Cutting Juncus effusus back from Bellevue WA
I read your posts about Juncus effusus and just have one follow-up question. When is the best time to cut them back to the ground - before winter or early spring? I live in the Pacific NW. I recent...
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Bellevue, WA
Canadian Marine West Coast Plants
What type of plants are found in the Canadian marine west coast climate?
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Kenmore, WA
Low maintenance, shade tolerant groundcover for Pacific Northwest
What's a good low maintenance, shade tolerant ground cover for the Pacific Northwest? It needs to have good erosion control, too.
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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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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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