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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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Questions From Near You

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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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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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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Cherry Hill, NJ
Is crape myrtle deer resistant
Is Crape Myrtle deer resistant?
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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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Moorestown, NJ
Information on creating and maintaining a meadow
Would you please share information about creating and maintaining a meadow?
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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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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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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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Glendora, NJ
Seeds native to New Jersey from Glendora NJ
My sister is getting married and would like to send out native wildflower seeds to the guests in her save the dates. We want these seeds to be NJ native seeds, but we are actually having some trouble ...
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Philadelphia, PA
Is Panicum virgatum native to Pennsylvania
Is Panicum virgatum native to PA? I do not see it in your database but it is listed as a native in many places.
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Philadelphia, PA
Trimming of Aster ericoides in Philadelphia
Should I cut back my Aster ericoides, ‘schneegitter’ in the spring?
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Philadelphia, PA
Dying blackeyed Susans in new garden in Pennsylvania
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have recently planted black eyed susans in a newly dug garden along with some cone flowers. The other flowers are doing fine but the black eyed susans have all dried up and are...
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Philadelphia, PA
Care of native black-eyed susans after blooming
What is the best way to take care of black-eyed susans once they have lost their blooms? Am I supposed to cut them down to the base, or just let them die out naturally. Also, they all have a white re...
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Philadelphia, PA
Wildflowers for a slope in PA
I've got a steep southeast-facing slope near the house that is mostly overrun with day lilies. It gets plenty of morning sun. I've had some luck with goldenrod and New England aster along the steps ...
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Philadelphia, PA
Shrubs to hide neighborhood area in Philadelphia
I live on a lane in Philadelphia, PA. Across the street from my home is a small hill with trees and beyond that is a driveway and homes. The neighbors that live in the homes dump their tree cuttings, ...
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Philadelphia, PA
What to do about mildew on Trumpet Vine?
My Trumpet Vine tends to get mildew on its leaves. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.
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Philadelphia, PA
Smarty Plants on temperature
Mr.Smarty Plants, I am a student at Hill Freedman Middle school and I have a science fair coming up. I really need a answer to this question "What effect does temperature have on the growth of plants...
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Philadelphia, PA
Best time to plant wetland plants in NY
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants - I'm working on a fresh water, shoreline wetland creation project in New York State. I've created two zones of native wetland plantings, an emergent shallow marsh zone ...
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Philadelphia, PA
Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
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Philadelphia, PA
Powdery growth in hydrangea in Philadelphia
My hydrangea plants have a weird growth on their leaves that looks like white rice. It looks like it would be powdery if brushed, but I don't want to touch it for fear that it some type of mold. Any...
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