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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

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

Marysville, WA
Clover in grass in Marysville WA
I noticed clover growing in my grass and know that this is a sign of poor nitrogen in my soil. I would like to know of some native plants / shrubs that I could put near my house in Washington that ...
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Everett, WA
Why are the leaves on my Laurel hedge turning brown in Everett, WA?
Our laurel hedge seems to have brown leaves on the top of the bush. We haven't had a freezing winter so we are trying to figure out why some of the leaves are brown.
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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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lynnwood, WA
Kinnikinnick for a green roof
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live just north of Seattle and want to build a green roof (outdoor kitchen) I'm concerned about the weight of the soil (saturated), drainage etc. am building from scratch and...
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Camano Island, WA
Treatment of leaf curl on non-native peach in Camano Island, WA
How to treat peach leaf curl?
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Camano Island, WA
Books and other resources to identify plants in Washington state
We live just north of Seattle, WA on Camano Island and want to do a plant survey of our two acres. Any suggestions of books or other resources, particularly for the grasses and low growing plants? A...
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Mountlake Terrace, WA
Leaves turning brown on geum in Mountlake Terrace WA
Assuming a geum is North American . . . mine are turning brown unlike any time before. They get watered occasionally and then dry out. Is there something special I should be doing for geums? They get ...
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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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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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Kingston, WA
Native grasses for erosion control in the state of Washington
Which native grasses do you suggest for maximum erosion control in my area?
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Indianola, WA
Problems with peonies in Indianola, WA
My 5 year old peony plant didn't come up. I thought it was dead so I dug it up. I found a clump of thick roots. I separated them, and then realized these were probably the bulbs. It is the middle...
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Mount Vernon, WA
Problems with azaleas
Last summer I planted 10 evergreen Azaleas "Hino Crimson" I sprinkled a little rhody fertilizer in their holes before planting and gave them plenty of water all summer. They are all doing fine excep...
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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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Port Townsend, WA
Freeze damage to salvias in Port Townsend WA
Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in western Washington and had a multi-day hard freeze in December. Now, in mid-January, our salvia hot lips has no live leaves on it. The leaves that remain are green and...
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Burlington, WA
Plant identification
I have this shrub looking type plant with leaves that smell like lemons. The plant has a very small white flower on it. This shrub shows up in my yard every year in the summer. We are curious as to we...
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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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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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Poulsbo, WA
Strawberry tree with yellowing leaves.
Just to add to your statistics, I live in Poulsbo, Washington, very near to Tacoma, Washington. My strawberry tree also has yellowing leaves with some black spots. I will take your advice with the iro...
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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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