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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

Willingboro, NJ
Problem with non-native peach tree in Willingboro NJ
I have a peach tree in my back yard. The tree was in the yard when I bought the house. I have lived at my address almost six years. This year the peach tree is dripping a thick jelly-like sap from ...
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Moorestown, NJ
ID of plant from florist in Moorestown NJ
I recently purchased a cut stem from the local florist for an autumn flower arrangement. The leaves are very, very small and bamboo-like in looks. They are not oval and are 1/8 inches long. The bra...
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Moorestown, NJ
Information on creating and maintaining a meadow
Would you please share information about creating and maintaining a meadow?
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Mount Holly, NJ
Transplanting crabapples in NJ
I purchased a mature Red Baron crabapple in march of this year from a reputable nursery here in southern NJ. The tree was in the ground when I first viewed it, and since it was march and hadn't bloom...
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Andalusia, PA
Creating a wildlife refuge
We would like to make my yard more of a wildlife refuge by using a portion of the lawn for plants and shrubs and may afford shelter for birds and other wildlife. Can you please recommend what we shoul...
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Mt Laurel, NJ
Small trees for NJ shore
Hello! What's a good native shrub or small tree to feature in my front yard in Brigantine, NJ, on the Jersey shore. Sunny site, dry, sandy soil. The yard is very small. I'm trying to design a l...
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Cherry Hill , NJ
Mystery plant in New Jersey
We are trying to find the name of a shrub, growing in Southern New Jersey. with red berries that grow in a group much like lilac or oak leaf hydrangea. It is "feathery", not dense. A neighbor dug u...
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Cherry Hill, NJ
Is crape myrtle deer resistant
Is Crape Myrtle deer resistant?
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Langhorne, PA
Poor drainage in clay soils in Langhorne PA
Our backyard has very poor drainage, to the point of up to 3 inches of rain can sit until it is evaporated. Talking to neighbors, they informed us that there use to be a terrain that ran through our ...
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Southampton, NJ
Pruning smooth azalea in NJ
I have a Smooth Azalea growing in my woods. It was verified by the Master Gardeners of Burlington County New Jersey. It's 12 feet tall and lanky. Can it be trimmed in hopes of thickening up? If s...
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Bordentown, NJ
Plant identification--Mock Orange
I "grew up" with what I was told was a "Mockorange Bush." I've been looking around to be able to try to identify what variety it was. To be specific, the one that I am familiar with had little...
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Haddonfield, NJ
Beautyberries not poisonous to cats and dogs from Haddonfield NJ
Are beauty berry plants poisonous to cats/dogs? Would like to use branches w/berries and leaves as indoor decorations.
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Collingswood, NJ
Shrubby options for a bird lover in New Jersey
Could you please recommend a native shrub to NJ that grows to about 3-4 feet, is very low maintenance, does well in afternoon sun and is also something the birds will like? Thank you.
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Voorhees, NJ
Buds disappearing from magnolia in New Jersey
I live in New Jersey.I planted my 5.gal Vulcan magnolia in December. It came with 4 big buds and 3 small buds.I planted in good location where it gets lots of sun. The tree is well settled and looked ...
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Audubon, NJ
Roots in foundation of home in Audubon NJ
I live in an old house (almost 90 years old), and within the past year I have noticed in one area the concrete basement floor breaking. Today I finally made time to investigate. In these old houses ...
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Newtown, PA
Non-blooming of Campsis radicans, Trumpet Vine
I have a trumpet vine that does not bloom. My neighbor has the same plant and it blooms profusely. I have pruned the vine in February as was suggested on another site. It is healthy and is planted a...
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Trenton, NJ
Springbeauty in New Jersey and Dog Allergies
Is Claytonia virginica in New Jersey and could my dog be allergic to it?
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Trenton, NJ
Differences in Plant Growth
How do plants grow differently?
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Yardley, PA
Screening trees for PA
We are looking to plant some privacy trees in back of our home. Since our neighbor is directly behind us but we don't want to plant something distasteful to our neighbor. Do you have a recommendation...
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Philadelphia, PA
Identifying tiny plant from Philadelphia PA
I would like help identifying a tiny plant. I tried using using the plant identification page, but I don't know enough about this plant and plant terminology to use it. I would like to send you som...
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Philadelphia, PA
Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend fo...
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