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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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Avon by the Sea, NJ
Tree for New Jersey shore
I'm looking for a small tree (max. 15 ft. with small spread) that will tolerate salt spray, wind, and full sun at the NJ shore. There is no protection in this location.
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Hamilton, NJ
Care for non-native red orchid
In a nutshell, I was away for about a week and before leaving I watered my red orchid (as instructions said you were only supposed to water it once a week and place in a spot with sunlight but not dir...
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Elberon, NJ
Solarization and hand-pulling to remove invasive weeds
We are planting a field of native grasses, and prepared the landscape by solarization last July. However it now seems that the weeds returned with great vigor. Is there any other method to get rid of ...
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Eatontown, NJ
Pruning Saucer Magnolia in Eatontown, NJ.
Adult Saucer Magnolia (tulip tree). Branches were getting heavy to where they were ready to break. I pruned them back leaving 1 to 3 inch diameter cuts on many branches. Should I put something on th...
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Point Pleasant, NJ
Promoting growth on non-native dipladinias (mandevillia) from Point Pleasant NJ
My Dipladinias were almost dead when I bought them last year, but after a little TLC, they blossomed like CRAZY in pots outside. They stopped blooming in November (I brought them into the house in Se...
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Howell, NJ
Center of Yucca filamentosa looking rotten in Howell, NJ
I live in central NJ. I planted some Adam's Needle Yucca in my garden around 5 years ago. Since then, they kept growing and ended up developing three trunks off of the main trunk. I noticed recentl...
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Brick, NJ
Yellowing leaves on non-native weeping birch in Brick NJ
I have a young weeping birch-planted in spring-we water regularly, it gets good sun-and rain has been perfect--the leaves get yellow--and now they are a lot! Whats the matter? I love my little tree.I ...
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Brick, NJ
Plant ID from Brick, New Jersey
I live in Brick, New Jersey. I planted some wildflower seed from an assorted packet. There is a very tall, thick center stem with orange flowers. I'd like to send photo but don't know how.
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Little Silver, NJ
Native evergreen tree for horse pasture in New Jersey
I just pulled out a laurel that was hiding a stand pipe in our horse paddock. We had trouble this winter with the horses eating it when there was little grass to graze on. Can you suggest an evergre...
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Fairfield, NJ
Plants for floodplain in Fairfield, New Jersey
I have an easy question for you... I hope... We just moved into the floodplains of NJ in Fairfield and are interested in some plants. We would like to know what plants are best suited to grow in flood...
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Rumson, NJ
Plant identfication
Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
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Rumson, NJ
Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
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Holmdel, NJ
Perennial ground cover for hillside in Holmdel NJ
I live in NJ. I would like to use a perennial ground cover for my landscaping bed on a hill with full sun and deer resistant. It's a good size landscaping bed that is facing east (southeast). What...
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Holmdel, NJ
Privacy Trees for New Jersey
My neighbor elevated a row of white pine between our houses at least 20 feet high leaving me with NO privacy and a row of ugly lollipops. What trees can I plant that will be fast growing and deer resi...
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Freehold, NJ
Poison ivy? vine in NJ
I have a vine growing among some vegetation in my backyard. It has a leaf with 3 "points" with ridges along its edges. The smaller leaves are reddish which is why I thought poison ivy but definite...
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Freehold, NJ
Identity of vine growing in New Jersey
Hello! I am hoping you may be able to help me out in identifying a vine plant that has started to grow from under my deck, through the lattice and up the outside of my deck. I bought the house 2 y...
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Middletown, NJ
Groundcover for sunny yard in New Jersey
Hi. I'm looking for ground cover for a mostly sunny section of my yard. The ground we are looking to cover is next to a slight hill with in a few feet of an in ground pool. I would like something tha...
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Town of Holland, NY
Native grasses for New York to feed deer
What native grasses do you recommend to encourage deer forage in feed plots?
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marlboro, NJ
Mystery vine in Marlboro NJ
I have a patch in my backyard where we planted pumpkins last year but it does not look like pumpkin vines to me. The vine is smooth and the leaves are long and oval that come to a point. There are s...
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Port Monmouth, NJ
Native flowers for an English garden in New Jersey
I am working on a English type garden and trying to achieve the most color flowers, mainly the longest summer blooms. I live in Port Monmouth NJ. Any suggestions for the best and longest summer bloo...
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Port Monmouth, NJ
Bugs on yucca plant in New Jersey
I noticed small bugs ALL OVER 4 established yucca plants all near each other. They may look like Halticotoma valida but I'm not positive. There is no brown on the leaves except for the large amount...
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