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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

Clinton, MA
Comptonia peregrina tea as topical treatment for poison ivy
I have been told that Sweet Fern stewed into a tea is a great topical treatment for poision ivy. Is this true?
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Harvard , MA
Ground cover for Massachusetts
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We are trying to kill poison ivy in shaded areas bordering our driveway and want to plant something quickly to replace it. There are many tall trees in this area, mainly pi...
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Marlborough, MA
Chile pequin not ripening to red from Marlborough MA
I have a healthy Chile Pequin in Marlborough, MA, flowering and fruiting profusely. But, the fruit are not ripening to red, as did their parent plants in Florida. Fruit go from green to deep purple ...
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Marlborough, MA
What eats American holly bushes in winter?
I live in Marlborough, MA and I was shoveling snow on January 19th and noticed how beautiful my Holly bush was covered in red berries against the new fallen snow. My husband said to me this morning (...
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Leominster, MA
Source of seeds for helianthus salicifolius (Willowleaf sunflower)
Where can I purchase seeds for helianthus salicifolius?
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Shrewsbury, MA
Landscape buffer in Bluffton SC
I have to install an irrigated landscape buffer along the outside of a 6'high x 42'long privacy fence about 8' from a public sidewalk in Bluffton, SC. The property owners association requires 4' t...
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Worcester, MA
Souce for Houstonia caerulea in Massachusetts
I am looking for bluet (Houstonia caerulea or H. serpyllifolia). I can't find them anywhere. The two sites listed under possible distributors under H. caerulea have not gotten back to me. I read that...
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Worcester, MA
Problems with recently planted trumpet vine from Worcester MA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about my recently planted Trumpet Vines. First of all, I live in Massachusetts, zone 6. The soil is perfect for the two vines, which I bought from a local nur...
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Worcester, MA
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone of Worcester, Massachusetts
What zone is Worcester, Massachusetts?
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Worcester, MA
Commercial source of Malus x arnoldiana in Massachusetts
Looking for a commercial source for Malus x arnoldiana, a Massachusetts native apple/crabapple. I work for a Massachusetts conservation land trust with an interest in wildlife habitat and mast and nat...
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Fitchburg, MA
Dutchman's pipe vine dying in Fitchburg ME
I have 2 dutchmans pipe vines they have been growing for over 20 years. Now all of a sudden the foliage is wilting and dying. The other one is completely fine. What would cause this?
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Fitchburg, MA
Native plants for gravesite in North Central Massachusetts
I live in North Central Mass. Would like to plant something on my parents gravesite that would not be invasive or require a lot of care. Any suggestions? I just took 2 shrubs out that had become way...
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Grafton, MA
Strange growth on oak tree
i have a very strange round segmented growth on a tree in my yard. i think the tree is a chinkapin oak and the growth is a reddish color. it looks like a ball with suction cups on it. it is very st...
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Groton, MA
Blue wildflowers for Massachusetts meadow garden
I am restoring a 1980's era barn in Massachusetts. To celebrate the roll-out of the restored barn, I would like to plant wildflowers in the hayfield next to the barn (aprox. 3 acres). I would like ...
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Westminster, MA
Orange eggs on milkweed plants
Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
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Millbury, MA
Deer-resistant plants for South Carolina
I have purchased a home in SC in an area that is overun with deer. What flowering plants for that area do deer not eat.
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Hubbardston, MA
Survivability of Texas wildflower seeds in Zone 5A or 5B
What are the recommended hardiness zones for Texas wildflowers? Could these seeds survive in a 5A and 5B climate? If so, when would be the correct time to plant seeds for zone 5A/5B?
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Natick, MA
Will a gift of bluebonnet seeds grow in Massachusetts?
I recently received a gift of bluebonnet seeds and would like to know if they are suitable to grow in Massachusetts. We live in Zone 5. If so, would they be considered an annual due to our hard winter...
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Templeton, MA
Plant identification
We found this plant or something or other in our yard, in the area we found it usually stays wet and it was behind a old tree that was done. It has three big green leaves with a white stem that kind ...
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Medway, MA
Pruning tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Thank you for your answer regarding when my tulip tree will flower. I also understand it can/will grow to over 100 feet so should we be pruning it a certain way to keep it contained? thank you
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Medway, MA
Do all tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipifera) flower?
Do all tulip trees flower? We planted a baby one about 5 years ago and its grown considerably however it has never flowered. Is that normal? Thank you!
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