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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

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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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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Tacoma, WA
Yellowing leaves in non-native Arbutus unedo in Washington
I live in the Pacific Northwest and have planted 2 dwarf strawberry trees. I have been giving them lots of water. Their leaves are turning yellow. Am I watering them too much? Not enough?
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Tacoma, WA
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is not a native U.S. plant. It was introduced to the U.S. from Europe and is now considered invasive in many parts of the western U.S. It invades our forested wild land...
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Tacoma, WA
Agave in a vase of water in Tacoma WA
I have a agave plant that is in a vase of water only. It was given to me about 3 years ago, still growing but rotting inside of the water. Is it suppose to be in dirt? How to I transfer into a pot ...
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Tacoma, WA
Black leaves and dying kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
My kinnikinnick has developed dark leaf spots and, in some cases the entire leaf has turned black or entire plants have turned black and died off. I'm worried about leaf spot, root rot and leaf gall...
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Tacoma, WA
Practicality of growing bluebonnets in Germany
I am originally from Texas, but I am living in Washington and moving to Germany for the military. I desperately miss bluebonnets and my husband picked up a big bag for me as a present and have no ide...
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Federal Way, WA
Problems with non-native Star jasmine
My Jasmine leaves are turning red. I think it's a Star Jasmine as it get those pretty little white fragrant flowers that look like a star. What is causing this and is it something I should be conce...
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Federal Way, WA
Companion plants for Douglas fir in Federal Way, WA
What are good companion plants for large Douglas Fir trees? we have 5 large trees in our cul-de-sac "island" and would like to plant something colorful around the trees. It's very dry, shady, and c...
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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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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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Lacey, WA
Acidity of soil for blueberry plants
We have 8 blueberry plants and we have just taken out several Juniper shrubs. How will this effect the acidity of the soil for the blueberries? Do we need to add more acidity? We heard that the junipe...
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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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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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Olympia, WA
Failure to thrive of Actaea simplex in Washington State
I have a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' that I planted in mid August 2007 in a partial, almost full shade spot. This year it came back , but the foliage is brown with dark and light green a...
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Olympia, WA
What are those bushes with purple flowers around the Wildflower Center?
Hello! We were just at the Wildflower Center earlier this week (March 1 or so, 2009), and there were several large bushes with purple flowers on them. The very helpful docent told me what they wer...
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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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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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Shelton, WA
Windbreak [Dustbreak] for Shelton, WA
I live on a well traveled, dusty, gravel road in the Pacific North West and would like to plant a barrier to help control the dust.
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Seattle, WA
Identification of gooseberry plant
Grew up in Colorado, our yard and several near us had medium to large size deciduous shrubs that produced small (.25"-.375") red berries that were very tomato-like. Delicate with a thin skin, sligh...
view the full question and answer

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