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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Hope, NJ
Does deer repellant really work from Hope NJ
Does Deer Stopper by Messina Wildlife really work as an organic pest repellent?
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Budd Lake, NJ
Foundation Landscape Tree Suggestion for New Jersey
I need to replace a shrub (boxwood) in a landscaped area directly in front of my house. I would like a tree that grows about 10-15' maximum. However, I have a drainpipe that runs from the house to th...
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Bushkill, PA
Plant identification
This should be an easy one. I would like to identify a plant that grows along river banks, usually up to the edge of the water and within 50' of water course, and is very common. It is up to 8' in ...
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East Stroudsburg, PA
Need an attractive plant to help stabilize a wet area in East Stroudsburg PA.
We have a small run off from one pond to another. At the bottom of the slope, the area is always wet--and not from the run off. Is there a low growing plant that would provide a root system to help st...
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Stroudsburg, PA
Moving non-native Iris Germanica in Pennsylvania
I am moving from Northeast Pennsylvania to North Carolina this fall or winter. I was told it was possible to save some of my bearded Iris plants by digging them after they bloom and allowing them to ...
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Newton, NJ
Plant identification of a trillium in New Jersey
I have several Trillium grown from one seed source. The plant looks like Trillium cuneatum, but unlike that plant, the stems of these plants -- which seed freely in my Northwest New Jersey garden -- l...
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Newton, NJ
More information about Trillium in New Jersey
Hi, Nan. FYI. The Trillium seeds in question came from the State of Alabama. If you have an interest in seeing photos of this Trillium and two others in my garden, which are different and which I be...
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Hopatcong, NJ
Plants with latex-containing sap
Hi, I was on a nature hike this past summer in Yosemite, and our Ranger guide told us about latex in the Milkweed and the Western Dogwood being a defense mechanism against browsing by deer. I'm a lan...
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Care of non-native Sorbaria sorbifolia (false spiraea)
I have 2 Sorbaria sorbifolia (false spiraea) that will not flower. This is their third summer. What should I do?
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Phillipsburg, NJ
Native plants, wildlife hosts for small yard in New Jeersey
I live in New Jersey & am in the process of changing my yard over to native plants. My yard is very small & I currently have a Kousa dogwood tree that I want to replace with something native. I need...
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Phillipsburg, NJ
Questioning native status of Alberta Spruce in New Jersey
I am in the process of transforming my yard to native plants. Several years ago I planted a Dwarf Alberta Spruce. I want to be sure this isn't native before I remove it but haven't been able to fi...
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Easton, PA
Flowering small native plants for Easton PA
Please name small flowering evergreen plants native to Easton, PA. These need to be wind tolerant and must be taller than 1 foot tall, no more than 4 feet tall.
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Easton, PA
Source for eastern red cedar trees for Pennsylvania
Please help, Mr. Smarty Pants! I live in Easton PA, and I would like to create an instant screen on my property line using Eastern Redcedar trees. I was hoping to find 5 to 6 foot trees. Most place...
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Easton, PA
Can you recommend a supplier for Comptonia?
Can you recommend a web supplier for the native plant Sweet Fern, Comptonia? Thanks
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Easton, PA
Source for supplier of cedar plants in Pennsylvania
Mr. Smarty Pants - please disregard a stupid question I asked a little earlier today about sourcing cedar plants near Easton, PA. I figured out looking up "Nurseries" could lead to Yellow Pages ent...
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Randolph, NJ
Would like suggestions for a tree or bush to be given as a memorial gift for friends in Austin, TX.
Hello, I would like to give a memorial gift of a tree and/or bush native to the Austin area to friends living there. Any suggestions? Local vendors would be appreciated also. Thanks very much!
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Mendham, NJ
Process of converting from lawn to wildflower meadow in New Jersey
I live in northern New Jersey and have an acre of property which is currently a grassy lawn. I would like to make a meadow where the lawn is. What is the process to convert from a lawn to a meadow? Th...
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Mendham, NJ
What caused purple heartwood in my Tuliptree?
My Tulip tree was hit by lightning and all bark from the base of the tree up to 50 feet was blown off. The tree also sustained a significant crack through the trunk. When the tree was cut down, we...
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Whitehouse Station, NJ
Aggressive native Inland Sea Oats in Whitehouse Station NJ
Can you direct me to a source of help managing a very aggressive grass, Chasmanthium latifolia, Woodland Oats or Indian Sea Oats. It is behaving like a very noxious plant and I am concerned as I am h...
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Whitehouse Stationq, NJ
Native trees for privacy screen in New Jersey
Looking for a tree (preferably an evergreen) for a privacy hedge in Whitehouse Station, NJ. Would like a very fast growing tree that is deer resistant. Also the privacy hedge will be planted along a...
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Mountaintop, PA
Identification of tree with fuschia berries in Pennsylvania
Northeastern Pennsylvania tree with fuschia berries in autumn. Found one in woods,never saw one before.
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