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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

Thornton, PA
Identity of fern-like plant in woodland garden
what is the fern-like, hairy fleshy-stemmed, 12"-18" ht plant in my woodland garden
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Glen Mills, PA
Damaged leaves on bottlebrush buckeye from Glen Mills PA
My recently planted bottlebrush buckeye plants' leaves are looking damaged but it doesn't look like insect or fungus damage. They look battered by wind but I don't understand why that would happen...
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West Chester, PA
Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
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West Chester, PA
Ground cover for a dry slope in PA
My side yard is a slope with rocky (a lot of small serpentine rocks) soil under white and black pine trees. I can grow lots of weeds :-) but would like to plant a low (0-3in) evergreen ground cover th...
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West Chester, PA
Need grasses to stabilize a moderately steep slope in Pennsylvania
Hello. We have a moderately steep slope in a shady area that is in need of some help. The grass that is in place there seems to be thriving - nice and green, with good growth. However, kids running...
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Media, PA
Plants for shade in Pennsylvania
i would like to plant a small area in my rear yard, that is full shade in the summer (when the trees are full with leaves) and part shade in early spring. i live on a state park - there are plenty of...
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Media, PA
Deer resistant, drought- and shade-tolerant plant for Pennsylvania
Hello, I need a deer/drought resistant, shade tolerant, rocky soil perennial. I would like it to have some winter appeal. I live outside of Philadelphia, PA. Thank you so much for your time...
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Newtown Square, PA
Deer Resistant Plants for Newton Square, PA
I'm looking for highly deer resistant plants native to PA. Thank you!
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Newtown Square, PA
Plant to stabilize a stream bank in PA
Native plants to stabilize steep stream bank in semi shade to full shade. Southeastern PA. Thanks
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Wallingford, PA
Plant identification
Hi, I live in southeastern PA, and want to identify a wildflower . It about 36" tall, with a showy red spiked flower at the top, appox. 2" in diameter. Thanks, Robin
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Wallingford, PA
Evergreens to replace a screening line of pine trees
Dear Mr. Smartyplants, I lost a "screening" line of pines along my back property line to powerline trimmers & a blight. The area is quite damp & the soil full of clay which is now acidic from the...
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Media/Swarthmore, PA
Native plants for partial shade in Pennsylvania
Much of my growing area in Northern exposure, shade-partial shade once trees get leaves. I'm looking for native plants to use for screens and for ground-covers, grasses and edible plants.
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Chester, PA
Identification of first flower on Earth
When was the first on Earth and who find it and what was the name of the flower. Also what part of the Earth was if find?
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Devon, PA
Is Asclepias incarnata poisonous to dogs?
Is Asclepias incarnata safe in a farm/yard with plenty of dogs running around? What happens if a dog eats the leaves or seeds or pods? Is eating any of these fatal to dogs?
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Downingtown, PA
Shade plants to replace a lawn in PA
Our neighborhood is built into a hill and our backyard is along the slope. We cannot keep grass in the area (except for a few clumps). The area is mostly shaded and moist-dry however when rain comes t...
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Downingtown, PA
Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
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Wilmingfton, DE
Shade tree for cemetery in Wilmington DE
We are looking for a shade tree for a cemetery in Delaware. The tree will be planted only a few feet from some existing gravesites. What trees would you recommend that will not interfere with the ...
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Wilmington, DE
Host plants to monarch butterflies in Starr County, TX
I plant native larval and nectar plants that support the life cycle of the monarch butterfly here in the east; but, where can I find a list of native plants for my friends in the Tamaulipan Biotic P...
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Wilmington, DE
Monardas in section Cheilyctis not visited by hummingbirds.
This is a correction. In your plant database, Monarda punctata is said to attract hummingbirds, but all peer reviewed research suggests it, and other members of Monarda in section Cheily...
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Wilmington, DE
Is mulberry tree inhibiting growth of plants under it in Wilmington DE?
I have a large mulberry tree in my yard and the plants around it are not flowering or growing, some are now dead. Could the mulberry tree be toxic to other plants?
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Wayne, PA
Resources for a green roof project from Wayne PA
Hello! I am researching a project to create a native wildflower/ turf mix for a green roof. I would ideally like to grow it as a sod mat, and then install it in rolls. I am currently working as an i...
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