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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

N. Falmouth, MA
Damage to Pine Tree on Cape Cod, MA
My pine tree on Cape Cod has bark that is perforated with holes covering the entire tree. Bark can be removed by hand. Looks dead. What did this?
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Falmouth, MA
Shrubs/ Trees for Privacy Screening on Cape Cod
Hi, I need a recommendation for a row of trees/shrubs that I can put on my boundary line to block my neighbor. It's in a wooded area that I could thin somewhat. I would need them to be fast growing...
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Mattapoisett, MA
Propagating mimosa from seed
I have a seed pod from a Mimosa tree. What is the best way to start this beautiful tree from seed. Thank you!
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Sandwich, MA
Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?
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Marstons Mills, MA
What kind of beetles are attacking cedar trees on Cape Cod, MA.
I live on Cape Cod, MA and my cedar trees are being attacked by some kind of beetle & killing them. I would appreciate knowing what this could be and how to treat this. Thank you
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Dartmouth, MA
White fuzz on pine tree bark in Dartmouth MA
We have white fuzz on our pine tree bark?
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Middleboro, MA
Need to identify orange tube-like plants in Middleboro, MA
Mr. Smarty Plants~ I live near some industrial companies, and lately I have been finding these orange plants, like tubes almost the top being brownish all over my backyard in the mulch. They have a...
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Dennis, MA
Drought tolerant plants for MA
We have some very very poor soil at our house on Cape Cod and are looking for plants that will take low water and sandy soil. Also we are high on a hill and quite exposed to the elements. The plot get...
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Dennisport, MA
Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
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Somerset, MA
Identity of recently purchased plant from Somerset MA
I just bought a plant at Home Depot but it came with no tag. It has fairly large greyish green paddle shaped leaves, the leave stalks are pretty thick. Can you tell me what kind of plant do I have? I ...
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Somerset , MA
Non-native Chamaedorea cataractarum question from Somerset MA
I have a Chamaedorea Cataractarum palm and I was wondering what a clumping palm is. From what part of the plant do the new fronds emerge? Was trying to look all over the web but can't find it. If you...
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Berkley, MA
Plant identification
I was wondering if you could help me identify a plant in the carrot family that has invaded a portion of my property that I fear may be toxic. It looks most like the water hemlock plant (leaf-wise, ...
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Brewster, MA
Low groundcovers for MA
We are developing ground mounted solar installations in southeastern MA. We are seeking advice for native groundcover species for our various regions (coastal meadows, etc). Species like bearberry and...
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Bridgewater, MA
Is there a flower that blooms only once in seven years?
Just wanted to know if there exists a flower that blooms only once in seven years? Thank you!
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Pembroke, MA
Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
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Pembroke, MA
Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
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Abington, MA
Perennial for cemetery plot in Massachusetts
What perennial would work well in a cemetery plot that has very dry sun?
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Brockton, MA
Groundcover for Massachusetts campus
Our campus is converting to more sustainable landscaping practices, and in the process we are planting native plants and removing lawn. Thus we would like to replace the lawn, and some invasive groun...
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rockland, MA
Looking for a tall ornamental grass native to Massachusetts.
I am looking for a tall (4-8 ft) ornamental grass, native to Massachusetts/ New England. It needs to be tolerant of moist to wet soil, and preferably colorful. Thanks for your help.
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Newport, RI
Blossom end rot on non-native tomatoes from Newport RI
Can epsom salt or eggshells end blossom end rot on tomatoes?
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Newport, RI
Overwintering Newly Rooted Hydrangea
I am in the process of rooting a hydrangea shoot in a pot, should I bring this inside to winter? I thought burying the whole clay pot to winter outside, is this feasible? I'm in zone 6b. What would b...
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