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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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Questions From Near You

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
Most invasive, noxious plant in U.S. from New York City.
I was wondering, what is the most invasive/ noxious plant in the U.S? Thanks in advance.
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NYC, NY
Can I Grow Beautyberry
Will try to be brief. Beautyberry sprouted leaves in vase of branches in water. It's NYC beginning of winter. Can I plant it outside? If not will it grow in a pot inside? Thanks. Happy New Ye...
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Wapperger Falls , NY
Propagation of myrtle in Wapperger Falls, NY
How do you propagate myrtle?
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NYC, NY
Need help with yucca palm in New York City, NY.
I have had my yucca palm plant for almost 10 years. The bark has started to peel off although leaves seem fine. The second smaller separate yucca plant has half its bark and trunk gone. I can't see a...
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New York City, NY
Container gardening for pool in southern California
I have large planters around pool would like to know what plants to use that will not grow to high or to big and will not have large roots home located in camarillo ca.
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New York, NY
Non-native Ginkgo biloba in New York
A female Ginkgo tree dropped its seeds. Now, I have seedlings all over the yard. I don't want more female Ginkgo trees. They create putrid Ginkgo seeds. However, I would like more male Ginkgo trees. ...
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New York City, NY
Wild Native Hybrids and Cultivars?
It is my understanding that hybrids can occur with or without human intervention whereas cultivars always involve human intervention. Strictly speaking does this mean native wildflowers can never be ...
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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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NYC, NY
Orange trumpet creeper parasitic to oaks in New York City?
Is the Orange Trumpet Creeper a parasite to oak trees? My concern is that a neighbor with a tall oak has a vine growing up it and I wonder if it could damage or weaken the tree?
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NYC, NY
Container plants for terrace in New York City
What flowering plants would you recommend that will grow well on a 16th floor terrace ,with all day sun in NYC?
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New York City, NY
Liquid glucose as substitute for sunlight from New York City
I am curious to find out whether liquid glucose can be poured as water for mung bean plants as substitute for no sunlight. Is the possible? Will a specific amount of glucose need to be used? Can liqui...
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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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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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Hoboken, NJ
Smarty Plants on wildflower collecting
Is wildflower collecting a good school activity?
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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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New York , NY
Large-scale container garden for New York City
I am a community volunteer in NYC who is trying to help a non-profit set up two large container gardens (about 3 feet high by 4 feet long by 2 or so feet wide). The problem is that they want natives,...
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New York, NY
Care for indoor Lemon Cypress
How do I care for an indoor Lemon Cypress tree?
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New York, NY
Summer flowering small trees for NY
Request recommendations about trees for terrace. Would like flowers or color in summer; not spring. (Some of my trees are twenty five feet high.) Full sun, some wind, large containers. Please recomme...
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New York, NY
drought-resistant turf grasses for New York City
Hi - I work at the Smithsonian in New York City and we have a very large lawn that is frequently used in the summer for programming. It gets very beat up. I read an article in teh New York Times about...
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