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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

Danbury, CT
Help with Science Fair project from Danbury CT
Hello Mr Smarty, I was going to do my science project on weevils and their impact on milfoil. The weevils are in hibernation until spring and my project is due in mid-Feb. Any suggestions on a simil...
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Danbury, CT
Plant identification of plant with leaves like poison ivy
I would like to identify a plant whose leaves look like poison ivy, but the stem is white and has thorns. It is not thready. It was prevalent in overgrown garden beds of a house in Litchfield, CT. ...
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Danbury, CT
Problems with philodendron bipinnatifidum
I have a philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloum) that is now over 20 years old. It has been growing like crazy for the past 2 months, but has been inundated with pests since January, when I repotted it ...
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Danbury, CT
Native wetland plants nursery
I need to replant a disturbed wetlands area in Brookfield, CT. I have a list of plants (Sparganium americanum, sagittaria latifolia, pontederia cordata, peltandra virginica ) etc. Where to I go to o...
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Newtown, CT
Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to b...
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Ridgefield, CT
Need help identifying a deciduous weedy shrub in Ridgefield, CT.
My overgrown property is blanketed in a deciduous weedy shrub. Its not Autumn Olive. The stems have large thorns and the shrub is comprised of many thick woody stems that, when cut have a distinctive ...
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Ridgefield, CT
Identification of spiky red berry in Connecticut
I found an odd berry outside of my school, none of the science teachers know what it is though. It kind of looks like a spiked cherry. It has spikes on the outside, a pit on the insde, and has pinkish...
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Sandy Hook, CT
Dwarf golden cypress outgrowing their space
I planted two dwarf golden cypress on opposite sides of a dwarf alberta spruce in a small bed by the front door. After 4 years I have to severely prune back the dwarf cypress in spring as they will sp...
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Sandy Hook, CT
Stabilizing a sand bank in VT
We have a summer cottage in Burlington, Vt. and need to stabilize a mound of sand. The "bank" we are trying to stabilize has partial sun and faces south. It measures approx 4' high and is 30' long...
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South Salem, NY
Identification of small plant
Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, We are doing a biology project where we have to identify certain plants found in our area. We encountered a infinity symbol-shaped light green plant, about 4 cm high, and light...
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Carmel, NY
Trees & Shrubs for a NY Slope
Our community has a large steep slope (100'high by at least 600' wide) that is sunny & dry. The builders planted "wild flower seeds" on the slope that is now just weeds. We would like to know what...
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Somers, NY
Plants for shade native to New York
I am gradually trying to convert my garden to all natives. I am working in a shaded area under a maple tree. Are there any varieties of epimediums/barrenwort or hellebores that are native to the nor...
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Pawling, NY
Fast growing groundcover for New York
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I love your site! But I can't quite find this answer: can you recommend a fast-growing groundcover native to southern NY State (Dutchess County) that I can plant NOW (Augus...
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Wilton, CT
What plants are the most deer resistant in Connecticut?
Please advise me as to what plants are the most deer resistant and native to Wilton, CT. Most importantly, what evergreen shrubs and perennials will best survive?
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Southbury, CT
Wound to ash tree in Connecticut
My parents live in CT and there is a ravine on the side of their property with a beautiful ash tree on the bank. A week or two ago a drunk driver crashed their car into the ash. Now the tree has a l...
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Mahopac, NY
Reason for tree canopy dieback from Mahopac NY
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Not a questions, just sharing, re person in Texas whose Ash Jupiter appeared to be dying "canopy very thin on top". We moved to Putnam Co. NY in 1970. Our house was shaded by...
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Pound Ridge, NY
Source of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass
Will you kindly refer me to a grower from whom I may purchase plugs of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass. for a meadow installation in zone 6.
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Katonah, NY
Rain garden plants for Ketonah, NY
Rain garden plant selections for lower NY state
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Trumbull, CT
Holly attacked by deer in Connecticut
My holly bush was eaten by deer. Will the leaves come back or is it done?
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Washington, CT
How to get rid of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
We have an enormous stand of japanese polygonum that we are trying to get rid of. What soil type is the most inhospitable to this aggressive and highly invasive species? Were thinking of planting so...
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Oxford, CT
Effective plant cover for utility boxes
In Connecticut, we have utility boxes for underground electricity and cable located in front of our house. The builder has landscaped around them: first with rhododendrons and then azaleas and both ...
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