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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

Millinocket, ME
Orange rhododendrons for Millinocket ME
Where will I find orange rhododendron in Maine? Or orange rhododendron that will thrive in Maine?
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Bangor, ME
Plants for Maine
Hi there, I am looking for types of wildflowers that might be growing in Maine late july that would be okay to pick (would rather not pick endangered species, etc.). Any leads would be great. Also if ...
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Belfast, ME
Invasiveness of non-native gooseneck yellow loosetrife in Maine
I live in Maine, and purple loosestrife is invading our habitat. It outcompetes native species. Does gooseneck loosestrife have the same damaging qualities?
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Machias, ME
Pink lady slipper orchids in Maine
Hi, I have moved to Maine from Virginia--it's a new world of plants!!Exciting!! I have found 2 pink lady slippers on our property. What can I do to encourage them to multiply? I know some wild flowe...
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Caribou, ME
Alternatives to non-native, invasive Pampa grass
Could you please tell me if Cortaderia Selloana is "zone 4" hardy? Also how to start Opuntia Humifusa from cuttings? Do I let them stand upright dry and with no soil until they form the callous? Ple...
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Searsmont, ME
Identificaation of volunteer plant in Maine
I have a volunteer in my garden in Maine that I have been unable to identify. It is a perennial that grows in full sun. It has formed a thick mat of plants whose leaves are about and its leaves are d...
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Islesboro, ME
Non-native invasive Siebold viburnum from Isleboro ME
I was given several small Siebold Viburnum for planting on my Maine property. Even though it is often for sale in nurseries, I'm aware it is listed as invasive in several eastern states. Shouldn't I...
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Islesboro, ME
Fireplace ash as soil amendment in Maine
It seems that the custom where we summer in Maine is to dispose of wood ash from the fireplace on the plants around the outside of the house. I think this is not a good idea. What is your opinion? I w...
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Mt. Vernon, ME
Absence of blooms in non-native Rosa rugosa
I have a rosa rugosa in my yard that was here when I moved in..and it has never bloomed. It is in a sunny spot, but there are never any flowers..not even a single bud on this trailing plant. I cut it ...
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Fredericton, NB
Identification of a low raspberry-like plant in New Brunswick
I am searching for a plant I found last year while walking in the woods in early summer. It was a low plant, much like a raspberry, but not on thorny growth and close to the ground. Seems to be on new...
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South Paris, ME
Appropriate mulch for strawberries in Maine
Can mulch (like cedar mulch- kinds used in flower gardens) be used between rows of strawberries? Can you also suggest how far apart lupine species need to be so that they wont interbreed? Thank ...
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South Paris, ME
Crossbreedding of Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis
Hello, can Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis crossbreed? I have both and want to keep perennis genetically pure, is the only way to do this is to get rid of the polyphyllus?
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Berlin, NH
Failure of highbush blueberry plant to produce in New Hampshire
One of my highbush blueberry plants completely stopped producing. What can I do to revive it?
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Raymond, ME
Wildflowers and grasses for a septic field in Maine
Mr. Smarty Pants: I want to know the length of root systems for native Maine wildflowers that will be planted over a septic system drain field in Maine. Also any grasses you can think of. This area ...
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Portland, ME
Low maintenance native plants for sloping lawn in Maine
Hello, we live in Maine and have clay-ey soil with a lot of sun. I suspect the soil is acidic as well. We would like to replace at least part of our small front lawn with native ground cover or gras...
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Portland, ME
Plant identification
I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
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Digby, NS
North American plant that inhibits mold and mildew growth
Hi! There, I just wanted to know is there a north American plant that inhibits or eradicates mold and mildew growth, in the home. Also do they make a CFL (the new energy efficient spiral) type light b...
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Conway, NH
Identification of a Kerry bush on Cape Cod
I think the "bush" is called a Kerry bush - grows wild on Cape Cod - has little yellow "rose-like" flowers. - Is this the correct name and how can I make it thrive in New Hampshire?
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Old Orchard Beach, ME
Container plants for deck in Maine
I live on the ocean in Maine. Fourth floor deck. I want to plant containers and boxes with annuals that can withstand a lot of wind. We get mostly sun but some shade as well. Of course, there is the s...
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Saco, ME
Wildflowers for leach field in Maine
I am looking for a wildflower mix that would suitable to plant over a leach field. What plants should I look to avoid?
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Orleans, VT
Plants to control hillside erosion in Vermont
Hi, I am trying to do an eagle project that involves putting vegetation onto a hill to prevent erosion. I live in Vermont. What kinds of plants would hold together a hillside and could be planted in ...
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