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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

Queens, NY
New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
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Queens, NY
Propagation information from Queens NY
Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
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Floral Park, NY
Evergreen screening shrubs for New York
I need evergreen screening shrubs that aren't too deep. The shrubs are to be planted along an existing wrought iron fence, which is a few feet behind a children's swing set.
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Floral Park, NY
Care for non-native Spathiphyllum from Floral Park, NY
I have a medium to large size friendship lily indoor plant that was once magnificent when first purchased it. I lost plenty of lush green leaves to brown spots. The health has improved( I moved locat...
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Great Neck , NY
Wintering over of non-native Myriophyllum brasiliensis
I have a Myriophyllum brasiliensis in my outdoor fountain which I drain in the cold weather. How can I keep the plant alive over the winter? Thank you.
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Great Neck , NY
Overwintering a Juncus effusus in Great Neck, NY
Can I over winter a juncus effusus spiralis indoors or must it be kept outdoors? Whether indoors or outdoors, what is the proper way to keep it alive during the winter months?
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Valley Stream, NY
Care for 'Winchester' honeysuckle?
I have a Winchester honeysuckle that is now in full bloom. Do I "deadhead" the blooms after they die off?
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Woodmere, NY
Dog-proof shrubs in Woodmere NY
My chocolate lab thinks that shrubs are the same as "fetch" sticks..she's ripped out my azalea, rhododendron, andromeda and a few others I'm not sure of the names. She's a great pup (almost 1 yr...
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Long Island, NY
Yellowing leaves on non-native Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
I purchased a chinese hibiscus hiros small tree and after 1 month the leaves keep turning yellow. What's wrong? It's in a large pot and never outside below 60 degrees. Thanks.
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Long Island City, NY
ground covers for shady areas in New York City
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: What would be the best ground covers for big shady areas in New York City instead of lawns?
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Brooklyn, NY
How do Venus flytraps really work?
How do venus flytraps *really* work? I've read it has something to do with the hairs in their "mouth," but is there a chemical reaction going on? A physical "trigger"? Help me understand the Venu...
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Westchester, NY
Winterberry holly not fruiting
Regarding Ilex verticillata, which I have planted in a partial sun, somewhere between all dry and all wet location, i don't see any red berries, and it's mid-october. We are in the 'burbs of just ...
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Rockville Centre, NY
Small native evergreen tree for Long Island, NY
Hi, I am looking for an evergreen tree to plant on Long Island NY. I plan on planting it in my front yard. At maturity to about 10-15ft about 5 ft wide. Not sure about soil, the area gets good AM sun ...
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Rockville Centre, NY
Prickly pear doing poorly on Long Island NY
First, thanks for your reply on 11-3-12, re.Can a prickly pear cutting from Harker Heights, TX find happiness in Long Island, NY. The plants were set before a southern window in the attic, temp. ra...
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rockville centre, NY
Can a prickly pear cutting from Harker Heights, TX find happiness in Long Island, NY.
Took a cutting of a prickly pear cactus from my daughters garden in Harker Heights, Tx. Her plants are 5'ht.& wt. Set it into a 10" pot with garden mix soil. Early July 2012, brought it home to Long...
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Atlantic Beach, NY
Plants for acid soils and coffee grounds for the soil
Please tell me what plants & flowers need acid soil and are coffee grains good to make soil acid?
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Oceanside, NY
Learning to identify native plants in backyard
Please let me know how a layman like myself can identify native plants in my backyard. I don't know the plant names and don't know if they are dicots or any other technical terms (that some websites...
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Manhattan, NY
Evergreen shrub for pot in Manhattan
What is the best evergreen shrub or waxy leaved woody evergeen plant to use in a large concrete container in front of a doorman building in manhattan. Our building faces west and is directly on Rivers...
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Manhattan, NY
Seed germination for sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
How can I germinate sugar maple?(step by step, please) I have some seeds but can't make them grow directly outside, so could you recommend a method which takes place inside?! I've heard something ab...
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New York City, NY
Salt and flood tolerant plants for Brooklyn NY
Hi, I am researching suitable plants for landscape architectural projects in the wake of New York City’s proposal for increased storm and climate change resilience. I am specifically looking at the ne...
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NYC, NY
Distance from existing structures to plant a tree in New York
I would like to plant a large maple or birch near my suburban home. How far away from my home, garage, or any buildings should the seed be planted?
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