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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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Questions From Near You

Walnut Creek , CA
Propagation of indoor plants for school project
I have an assignment for school that requires that I get two indoor plants. One has to grow in water and one has to grow in soil. Each plant needs to grow at a fast pace, and at about the same pace....
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Walnut Creek, CA
Decline of non-native Star Jasmine in California
We just had 2 trachelospermum jasminoides planted in a redwood planter box about a month ago. We can't figure out if we are watering too much or too little but some leaves are turning yellow and the...
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Walnut Creek CA, CA
Can Gulf Muhly grow in California from Walnut Creek CA
I live in Walnut Creek, California, and recently learned about Muhlenbergia capillaris. It's a beautiful grass. Would this native do well here?
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Concord, CA
Ground cover for Central California from Concord CA
I live in a part of California where the summers can be very hot and dry but quite cool and wet during the rainy seasons in the wintertime. The soil around my home is very dry, rocky and infertile. I...
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Concord, CA
B1 for transplant shock in non-native bamboo?
I am wondering about the details as I wish to transplant some bamboo. I do not know the actual variety, as I have at least 2 types, but will take a cutting to a high end nursery.Some of this is about ...
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Orinda, CA
Groundcovers for California
Can you recommend native ground covers for shade area to prevent soil erosion; the area is near an old California Live Oak.
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Martinez, CA
Looking for Manzanita (Mt. Diablo variety)
Hi, We live in the Alhambra Valley area; in the country between Martinez and Lafayette/Orina. Can you tell me where I can purchase Manzanita, preferably Mt. Diablo variety if possible? I've aske...
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Bay Point, CA
Correction of tree name from Bay Point CA
The tree should of been Mulberry don't know how it was changed!! Tuesday - October 15, 2013 From: Bay Point, CA Region: California Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents, Trees Title: Non-...
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Bay Point, CA
What is the green pod on a trumpet vine
I have a Trumpet Vine that bloomed for the first time this year. After the bloom season, I noticed a single pod hanging on the vine about the size of a large green bean. What is the purpose of this ...
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Bay Point, CA
Suckers on non-native crape myrtle in Bay Point CA
How can I stop suckers on a Crepe Myrtle tree? I have bought sucker stopper in the past, but find it hard to locate now. Is there something else I can spray or paint on the base of the tree to stop ...
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Bay Point, CA
Control of suckers on non-native crepe myrtle from Bay Point, CA
I wrote to you a while back and haven't heard back. I wanted to know if Naphthalene Acidic Acid will keep the suckers on my Crepe Myrtle at bay? And if so, where might I find it? Thank you.
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Bay Point, CA
Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
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Bay Point, CA
Non-native jade plants and spider plants beneath Mayberry tree in Bay Point CA
I have a fruitless Mayberry in my back yard that's about 50/50' can I plant jade and spider plants under it? The tree is very healthy.
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Bay Point, CA
Fertilizer for Maidenhair Fern in Bay Point CA
Is it possible to feed a Maidenhair Fern the same plant food as a African Violet? I use Schultz African Violet Plus.
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Bay Point, CA
Pictures to Mr. Smarty Plants from Bay Point CA
Is there any way to send you a picture of my Mulberry tree, the Jade and the Spider Plants that are growing in my back yard so you can see what I'm talking about.
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San Ramon, CA
Flowers for days on end in California
What are some plants or flowers that I can grow "all-year" in California?
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San Ramon, CA
Problems with non-native gardenias in San Ramon, CA
I have a Gardenia tree planted in my front yard that gets shade and sun. It is dropping leaves and the leaves that are left are yellow. I had been watering it every day, but decreased that to every ot...
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San Ramon, CA
Trees for pool area in San Ramon, California
We live in San Ramon. We are remodeling our pool and are looking for a tree that will be 15 feet from a pool. We just removed a pine tree. We have now lost our privacy and see the neighbor's back f...
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San Ramon, CA
Suckers on non-native Mayten tree
We have a Meyten tree that has lots of suckers coming up from the roots. We would like to keep the tree, but if we can't find a way to control the suckers, we are considering taking it out. Any sugg...
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Berkeley, CA
Care of poppy plants
I bought a tiny poppy grow kit at Target for 99 cents. Amazingly, they have grown into numerous large and very healthy plants, though they don't all appear to be the same species. Some have grown to ...
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Berkeley, CA
Cat deterents
I was wondering if there is such a plant that will deter cats from going in your gardens. I have a problem with them using my garden as a litter box, and had heard that there was a plant that the...
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