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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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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

Stanford, CA
Raising bluebonnets in Stanford CA
I'm a Houston girl now living in Northern California (Stanford). I would like to know if I need to adjust my growing timing for lupinus texensis? Mostly, I want to know when I should actually put th...
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Palo Alto, CA
Damage to non-native Japanese maple
I have a medium sized branch of a dwarf outdoor Japanese maple partially (about 70%) broken off. How can I fix it? What chemical/plant hormone/material can I use to initiate regrowth of the broken par...
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Los Altos, CA
Mimosa pudica or \
I don't have a picture of a flower but I'm looking for a flower that I was told was called earthquake flower. It blooms at night. Could you help me?
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Mountain View, CA
Identification of night blooming Cereus
My Grandmother used to have a plant she called Nightly Series, that bloomed only at night. Can you help me find out where to buy one?
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Mt. View, , CA
Non-native strawberry tree dying in Mt. View CA
My strawberry tree has brown leaves and is dying, what can I do?
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Redwood City, CA
Deer Resistant Vine for California
What can I plant to cover a retaining wall in Redwood City, CA that will grow down on it (no dirt below) that deer will not eat? I have just about given up. I have tried jasmine and Gelsemium and regu...
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San Carlos, CA
Wildflowers for hill with erosion in San Carlos, CA
What wildflowers would you suggest for our hills that have erosion, low ground cover in San Carlos, California?
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Sunnyvale, CA
Transplanting care of Mayten tree (Maytenus sp.)
I planted a Mayten tree 2 years ago. It's about 8 feet tall. The trunk is about 1-1/2 or 2" in diameter. The earth around it sunk and now there is a "bowl" that fills with water in the rain. I...
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La Honda, CA
Deer resistance of non-native photinia from La Honda CA
Is photinia deer resistant?
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Cupertino, CA
Yellowing leaves on non-native podocarpus Cupertino CA
I recently planted a podacarpus granular and over half the leaves are turning yellow some are dead. What could be the problem? Is there something I can feed it? What should I do? I planted four & the...
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Foster City, CA
Privacy screen for garden and pool in California
I need a fast growing screen for privacy. Here are the issues:1. we have a 3 story apartment building looking right into our backyard. so trees need to be at least 15' tall and dense. 2. we have a po...
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Santa Clara, CA
Replacing junipers on slope with wildlife garden
Gradual replacement of Juniper with natives? We have a 10 foot deep slope with less than a 45 degree angle that is all covered with old, overgrown Juniper. It does not appear to serve any purpose ...
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Santa Clara, CA
Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
I have been tasked with a challenge to find the plant that is "dark purple wild flowers at Lake Tahoe and are a magnificent thing to see in the fall. Interestingly, these wild mountain lake flowers w...
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Saratoga, CA
Problems with non-native Maytens tree in Saratoga, CA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, My friend's Mayten tree (green spray)leaves are yellowing and we don't know if it is under-watered (surrounded by grass and fed with a time sprinkler for 20 min. maybe 2 or ...
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Milpitas, CA
Non-native Vanda plants in the Philippines
My brother lives in the Philippines and he's asking for help regarding his Vanda Plants. His Vandas are outdoors, east side of house, gets morning sun only. He waters everyday because it dries up ...
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Hillsborough, CA
Deer-resistant groundcover for sunny hillside in California
we are looking for a deer resistant, drought resistant ground cover that we can grow from seed. we have a large,partial sunny hillside, well drained,that is cover with oak leaves and pine needles..and...
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San Jose , CA
Tree or shrub with non-invasive roots from San Jose CA
I am looking for a small tree/ large shrub (non higher than a one story roof) with non-invasive roots to replace a 25 foot cedar. It is in a small area (5x 7) bordered to the side by a driveway...
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Los Gatos, CA
Plants for under a fountain splash line in California
What plants should we plant under our fountain's splash line in our Mediterranean style courtyard? The area will get wet from the fountain's splashing and have "full" sun. We are on a rock ridge...
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Los Gatos, CA
Growth on miniature palm in Los Gatos. CA
I think that my miniature palm is infested with some sort of bug or fungus. Last night it looked fine but this morning there was a large bright yellow fuzzy looking growth on the trunk. Any input wo...
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San Jose, CA
Problems with non-native orchid
I have vanda sanderiana that has wrinkled and yellowing leaves.They are located outdoors, northeast section, plenty of morning direct light and still bright even when the sun is at 3:00 oclock.I water...
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San Jose, CA
Plant identification of tree with strawberry-like fruit
On my walk home from work i noticed a red berry i had never seen before. It is soft like a strawberry, bumpy all over but the bumps are not individual as a raspberry has. It grows on a tall bush (very...
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