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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

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
Deer resistant plants for New York
My home is near the woods and so we get plenty of deer munching on everything but we also have shade and dappled light in the yard. I need to figure out plants that would thrive under these conditions...
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Hastings on Hudson, NY
Native plants for condo apartments in New York
Hello, and thank you for this wonderful source of help! We live in Hastings on Hudson, NY in a brick building of 7 condo apartments. Our corner unit has one narrow flower bed out front on the stre...
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Ardsley , NY
Restoring and propagating rhododendrons
I have 70+ year old native rhododendrons (16+ feet high) in my backyard. After all these years they are beginning to get dammaged by snow load and ice. Therefore I have 2 quesitons concerning these b...
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Irvington , NY
New York State Shrubs to Screen Home from Traffic
I am looking for a native New York bush/small tree which I can use along a road to screen my home from year-round car traffic. The area is not terribly wide and the soil is OK. I am willing to prune a...
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yonkers, NY
Indoor pot plants
I just moved into a studio apt. where a lot of heat is provided. Do you have a listing of house plants suitable for warm apartments? I have four windows, all with indirect sunlight.
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Sparkill, NY
Native fescues and sedges for turf in New York
Hello, Came across your contact info while googling and hoped you could help answer a question or direct me to another resource that can. I am looking to redo my entire landscaping with native NY ...
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Bronxville, NY
Replacement of barberry hedge with native, bird-friendly plants
I am looking to replace an existing barberry hedge with a deciduous hedge, using a plant that is native to the northeast. I am in zone 6. The site is sun/part sun with decent drainage. The mature si...
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Bronxville, NY
Pollinator for Juniperus virginiana "Grey Owl"
I would like to buy Juniperus virginiana 'Grey Owl' as a source of berries for birds. 'Grey Owl' is a female clone, so it obviously must need a male pollinator. What J. virginiana male pollinato...
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TARRYTOWN, NY
Growing Lupinus perennis in sandy soil.
I want to grow Lupinus perennis for the Karner butterfly. I know it won't grow in clay (my soil is wet clay). Can I plant the plant in a big (20" diameter x 17" tall) rubber pot, and fill the pot w...
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Tarrytown, NY
Need a vine to cover a chainlink fence in the shade in Tarrytown, NY.
Any advice for a vine to cover a chain link fence in shade
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Tarrytown, NY
Student project on Hudson Valley, NY native plants and ecology
Mr. Smarty, Hi I am starting a project with a school group 4th-6th grade, that has a greenhouse. The goal is to teach children about native plants & ecology of the Hudson valley region in NY. We will ...
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Tarrytown, NY
Difficult slope in Tarrytown NY
I hope you can help. Is there a way to plant some native shrubs and plants on a steep slope that is filled in some areas with rock without having to tier the slope? The section is approximately 50' w...
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Mount Vernon, NY
Care of non-native house plant
Please let me know how to keep a dieffenbachia plant healthy and growing. I notice some leaves turn yellow. I water them once a week and keep it on the windowsill with some sunlight. Should I be do...
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White Plains, NY
What will grow under non-native, invasive Norway Maple in White Plains NY?
Is there anything that will grow under a Norway Maple? The soil is dry and the area is small hill next to my driveway. It is an eye sore! Thank you!
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New Rochelle, NY
Native plants for an outdoor wedding in New York
I am planning an outdoor wedding in New Rochelle, NY in May. We would like to use native plants. Can you suggests some that we can use in the bouquets and as potted plants? Thanks
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New Rochelle, NY
Transplanting native, protected Ostrich fern in New York
Please give advice about how to transplant Matteuccia struthiopteris. What is the best time of year to do this?
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River Vale, NJ
Need suggestions for privacy hedge in Northern NJ.
Hi, I'm looking for advice on what plant would make an excellent privacy hedge in Northern NJ (Bergen County). Ideally something low maintenance, about 5 feet tall, would act as a fence. Thanks...
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River Vale, NJ
What is a groundnut? from River Vale NJ
I just read the book "Mayflower" which talks about the Massachusetts natives and, subsequently, the Pilgrims eating groundnuts; mentions the groundnuts going to seed in early summer. What are ...
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Larchmont, NY
Shade tolerant plants for privacy from Larchmont NY
Love your site! We have a 4'x4'x50' stone wall, full sun, with a planting bed 30"H by 24"D. We're looking for privacy, so a hedge with pruning is needed. We have looked at Ilex Crenata (8'),...
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Mamaroneck, NY
Botanical name for \
A friend gave me a garden flower plant called "clown face". What is the botanical name and where can I get info about it?
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Valhalla, NY
Native bulbs for the northeastern U. S.
What native bulbs could we plant in the Northeast? Can they only be planted in the fall as Dutch bulbs are?
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