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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

Wayne, NJ
Hiring a landscaper in New Jersey
Soon I will be hiring a landscaper to plant a privacy line of arborvitaes with a 1' retention wall and I need some help on prices. The quote I was given, which included 48 arborvitaes (and I will ac...
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TOTOWA, NJ
Shade-loving plants for birds in New Jersey
What native plants should I add to my property, Zone 6, to feed birds naturally? I have a heavily treed lot, so I'd like names of shade loving perennials. Seed or fruit bearing options would be gre...
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Franklin Lakes, NJ
Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
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Fair Lawn, NJ
Correct spelling of Passiflora caerulea
What is correct, passiflora coerulea or caerulea ?
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Fair Lawn, NJ
Smarty Plants on basketplant
I want to buy a basketplant (Callisia fragrans). Do you know where can I buy it?
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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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paramus, NJ
Need suggestions for trees with non-invasive root system in Paramus, NJ.
What trees can I plant in New Jersey with non invasive root systems? We lost our tree to a storm and are looking for a viable replacement.
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Saddle River, NJ
Plant identification
Deer are devastating understory in our woods. We have a highly resistant shrub purchased years ago at the state arboretum plant sale. It is about 5-6' tall, somewhat wider than that, many suckers/o...
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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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East Hanover, NJ
Source for Dryopteris Filix-max Rhizomes in East Hanover NJ
We are in search for 100kg Dryopteris Filix-mas (Male Fern) Rhizomes to extract oil Kindly send your offer
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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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Hillsdale, NJ
Native container plants from Hillsdale NJ
Looking for suggestions for the easiest natives to grow in containers.
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Parsippany, NJ
Deer resistant plants for a bioswale in NJ
We live in Morris County, New Jersey, on the edge of a nature preserve, i.e., deer are a bane to everything we plant. We recently had to have a swale dug on the west end of our house to deal alleviat...
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Livingston, NJ
Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
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Park Ridge, NJ
Plants for shade, poor soil in Park Ridge NJ
Hello! I live in far northeast New Jersey, by the New York state border. I am looking for plants for areas of my lawn that nothing currently grows in - due to shade and poor soil quality - very rocky,...
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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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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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Newark, NJ
Native habitate sunlight as opposed to artificial light
Does a plant grow best in sunlight or artificial light?
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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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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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Hoboken, NJ
Smarty Plants on wildflower collecting
Is wildflower collecting a good school activity?
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