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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

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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Bayonne, NJ
Non-native Japanese red maple exposed to full sun
I planted a Dwarf Japanese Red Maple tree about 3 yrs ago. Until about a month ago it was partially shaded by a massive chestnut tree, that has since been cut down. Now the new growth on my tree appea...
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Jersey City, NJ
Care of non-native Betula pendula 'Youngii' (Young's Weeping Birch)
We planted a Young's Weeping Birch on the side of our house here in NJ a few weeks ago and it seems to be thriving. When we purchased Fred (which is what we've named our youngster), he was in a pot ...
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staten island, NY
Suggestions for native perennials in Staten Island, NY
My back yard garden has a good base of evergreen shrubs and perennials all doing well in clayish soil and I am ready now to add color and texture in an area with partial sun. Can you suggest hardy...
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Staten Island , NY
Non-native and invasive bamboos from Staten Island, NY
Hi I put some black Bamboo and some bias Bamboo in a large container about 6ft by 2ft and ht 18 inches .How can I get this Bamboo to thrive ? Suggestions on types of plant food or fertilizer or ant t...
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Staten Island, NY
Dwarf, Evergreen Shrub Suggestions for Staten Island
I had two rows of bushes in the front of my house. The back row of bushes is what is commonly known as a hedge. Unfortunately due to Sandy I lost the front row of bushes. Please help me, I am in conta...
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Staten Island, NY
Purchase of frostweed in Staten Island NY
My grandson would like to buy a frostweed plant. Can I buy this from you?
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Staten Island , NY
Dwarf evergreen shrub for windowboxes in Staten Island , NY
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Could you recommend a dwarf evergreen shrub, not deciduous that also has pretty flowers that would thrive in a container in the northeast...area would have sun for about 4 -5...
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Newark, NJ
Native habitate sunlight as opposed to artificial light
Does a plant grow best in sunlight or artificial light?
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New York, NY
A good Amelanchier (Serviceberry) for Brooklyn, NY.
I am looking to purchase an Amelanchier to plant in Brooklyn this month. Would you know which variety works best in a small garden and also is it too late to plant. Mainly, I am looking for someone wh...
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NEW YORK, NY
Cactus failing to thrive in New York City
My cactus seems to be either weak or dying. Its long stems are bending and softer than the rest. What is happening to it?
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New York, NY
Full list of grasses for Connecticut from New York City
Sorry, this is a followup to the native Connecticut grass query I sent half an hour ago. I see that it was asking for 'recommended species' that I ended up with such a short list of grasses (3). Th...
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New York, NY
Transporting a plant on airplane from New York City
Can I transport via airplane a jade plant from New York City to Colorado in my suitcase?
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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
Stick with tried and true plants for a green roof in New York
If I use Virginia creepers in a ground covered application for a green roof, how much soil should I provide depth wise?
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New York, NY
Edible/medicinal plants in Suffolk County, NY
Which types of edible/medicinal plants are available in Suffolk County (Long Island NY)? Is there a place I can find a list with information about what they look like, where they can be found and what...
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New York, NY
Alternatives to non-native and invasive Carex crus-corvi in New York
Hello. I can't seem to find carex crus-corvi (ravenfoot sedge) on any online seed/plant website. I was interested in buying seeds or plants. My last name is Corvi, and I would love to grow it. Can...
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New York, NY
Native North American bulbs
I saw your list of 4 lilies native to the Northeastern United States, which was very helpful. What other bulbs are native to North America? Although I garden in Connecticut, I am interested in learn...
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New York, NY
Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?
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New York, NY
Lists of medicinal plants from New York City
Do you know any resources for lists of medicinal plants native to New York? Thank you
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New York, NY
Possibility of transporting native seeds to Europe
Hi, Is it possible to bring seeds for North American plants and wildflowers from the USA to Europe? I live in Italy and have many Italian friends who want me to bring seeds from America the next time ...
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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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