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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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Brooklyn, CT
Non-blooming yuccas in Brooklyn CT
I have outdoor yucca plants that don't flower - - in full sun. Why?
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Ashford, CT
Windthrow Resistant Trees for Northeast Connecticut
We live in northeast CT, and prefer to plant native trees. Many people here do not want trees around their homes, despite the benefits of shade and shelter they provide, because they are afraid of win...
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Foster, RI
Plant ID from Foster RI
I have a weed flowering plant in bloom in a moist semi-shaded area. I would like to send a photo but I do not know how to upload.
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Woodstock, CT
Smarty Plants on staghorn sumac
I currently have staghorn sumac in my yard located in Woodstock, Connecticut. it appears to be of the Rhus typhina species. i am removing these from my yard using a chainsaw and creating a pile of ...
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Franklin, CT
Re-landscaping neglected garden in Franklin CT
I am starting from scratch in a yard that has no planting beds or, for that matter, plants at all. House was vacant for quite some time, grass was three feet tall when we moved in. I would like to p...
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Chepachet, RI
Native, deer-resistant evergreen trees for Rhode Island
What deer proof evergreens can I plant in RI that may make nice xmas trees in a few years?
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Lebanon, CT
Plant Identification from Lebanon CT
What is that plant-- a wildflower --large thick stalk--flowers can be purple, pink, and very light pink. 3 branches off of stalk--flowers growing up each branch. Flowers smell similar to peonies.Leave...
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Coventry, CT
Identification of shrubs with red berries in Connecticut
In my yard there are bushes about 4 1/2' tall with red berries. The berries are bright red and somewhat translucent with striations visible through the skin.I thought they were gooseberries perhaps, ...
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Austin, TX
Is Jerusalem thorn native to Central Texas?
I was reading about Retama (Parkinsonia aculeata) which is native to South America and naturalized throughout Texas and the southern US. I also read that it is considered an invasive plant species in...
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West Warwick, RI
Need low-maintenance plants for courtyard in full sun in Rhode Island
I live in West Warwick, Rhode Island. I am designing a courtyard which because of its shape and design receives full sun all day. I am looking for flowers and plants which thrive in the sun yet are ...
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Amston, CT
Male pollinator to produce berries on Juniperus virginiana from Amston CT
We have planted 3 juniperus virginiana 'Glauca' (on our Connecticut property) that have a few blue berries on them. Will they need a male pollinator to make berries? We do not have other juniperus...
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Charlton, MA
Care for non-native 'Glacier Blues' from Charlton MA
Do you have to prune or cut down Glacier Blues in the garden? My plants look brown and wilted.
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Hebron, CT
Ground cover for Connecticut sandy gravel bank
What ground cover plant can I use on a sandy gravel bank behind my house?
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Oakdale, CT
Growth on underside of squash plant leaves
I have a mold in my garden that is oval in shape and has spikes growing out of it, the color is yellow. This mold (yup it's not a bug I checked) is all over the underside of my squash plants. Any hel...
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Warwick, RI
Propagation of non-native Selenicereus Antonyanus from Warwick RI
I just purchased a Selenicereus Anthonyanus, Rick Rack Cactus unrooted. I have searched on the web of the proper way to root the plant and have had no luck except it says easy rooting but not how to r...
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Warwick, RI
Source for air plant from Warwick RI
Would you know of any store in Rhode Island that would sell the air plant (tillandsia plant)? I've been searching around and no luck! I would appreciate the help!! Thank you and take care
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Warwick, RI
Invasiveness of native Viola sororia
I live in Warwick, RI and have a section of my backyard overgrown with common blue violets. My husband and I would like to relocate them to a more scenic location if possible. The advice the cooperat...
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East Greenwich, RI
Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
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Uncasville, CT
Control of out-of-bounds Virginia creeper
Our Virginia creeper (Woodbine) has outgrown its planned location this past summer. What is the best way to prune ivy stems for next years controlled growth?
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Cranston, RI
Need help identifying a tree with wintergreen-flavored bark that grew in my backyard during my youth in Cumberland, RI.
Growing up in Cumberland, Rhode Island (a town in the northern part of the state) there was a tree in our backyard with thin, brown peel-able bark. The bark itself had white stripes. Under the layer o...
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Blackstone, MA
Zucchini blooms but no fruit
My zuchinni has lots of flowers, but they seem to fall and I am getting no fruit.. WHY
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