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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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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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Questions From Near You

Newark, NJ
Native habitate sunlight as opposed to artificial light
Does a plant grow best in sunlight or artificial light?
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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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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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Nutley, NJ
Boom time for Texas wildflowers and best sites for viewing
I live in NJ and would like to visit Texas and see the bluebonnets and other wildflowers in bloom this spring. When do you expect the best display of flowers this year? Also, can you tell me where th...
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West Orange, NJ
Plant identification
I walk in a wooded area. There is a plant with large spade like leaves.It grow to about 4 to 6 ft. In other areas it has grown almost tree-like with green sticky nuts or seeds. I believe it had purple...
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Hoboken, NJ
Smarty Plants on wildflower collecting
Is wildflower collecting a good school activity?
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Cranford, NJ
Identity of purple-leafed plant in formal garden in Quebec City
I saw a plant in a formal garden in Quebec City that was low growing with purple leaves and clusters of deep purple pods/seeds about the size of grapes.
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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 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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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
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 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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Cedar Grove, NJ
Fast growing, flowering shade tree for Austin
Sister just moved to Austin Texas. She is looking for fast growing shade trees, preferably one with nice flowers. Any suggestions?
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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
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
Red berry that changes the taste of other foods
Hi, your site is fantastic. I heard from a friend that he tried a red berry in Florida which when eaten change the taste of other foods eaten afterwards. He ate a lemon after trying that berry and th...
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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
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
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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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
Plants for a bioswale in New York City
I am interested in learning about the best vegetation for planting in a bioswale in New York City. Can you help? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

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