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

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New Holland, PA
Sources for Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americana) in Pennsylvania
I am interested in purchasing some Strawberry bush plants but I am having problems finding where I can purchase them. Any suggestions?
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Ephrata, PA
Plant Identification from Ephrata PA
I've come across a low plant with bright green leaves and a distinct burgundy on the leaf. I've been told it's called Throw Me Over The Fence, but I believe it must be called something else. I be...
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Honey Brook, PA
Native plants to stabilize a steep bank in Pennsylvania
I would like to use native plantings to stabilize a steep bank of a septic leach field in eastern Pennsylvania. My purpose is to control erosion and to eliminate the need for mowing. What would you r...
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Lancaster, PA
Patenting Flower Mixes
Can a new, more beautiful combination/mix of certain wild flowers or the new use of some particular wild flowers for a particular style of gardening, e.g. for deer resistance or for alternative lawn o...
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Lancaster, PA
Failure to come up of blackeyed susans in Lancaster PA
My blackeyed susans have been blooming for ten years. All of a sudden this year they didn't come up at all..why?
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Lancaster, PA
Growing a Texas Mountain Laurel in Pennsylvania
Can I grow a Texas Mt. Laurel in Lancaster, PA?
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Lancaster, PA
Yellowing fern houseplants from Lancaster PA
I have fern houseplants about 9 to 12 months old and they are turning yellow. I don't overwater and they get good light. They are growing well but I don't understand the yellowing and falling off! ...
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Lancaster, PA
Native Streambank Plants for SE Pennsylvania
I help manage a nature preserve in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along the stream the banks have been beaten down by a large number of visitors for their educational activities such as stream studies. Th...
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Mohnton, PA
Cutting back perennials in PA
Can you pinch back echinacea in the spring to produce a shorter plant? I have some that get too tall and fall over.
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Mohnton, PA
Source for wildflower seeds of milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae)
I am a lifelong amateur botanist/horticulturist and am trying to find a source for wild flower seeds of the milkweed family (Asclepiadacea). Thanks.
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sinking spring, PA
Non-blooming Hypericum in Eastern Pennsylvania
I purchased a St. Johnswort about 3 years ago. I has never bloomed. It is alive & well. I know this since it has started to spread shoots. Is there a trick to this one? Occasionally something I plant ...
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Millersville, PA
Plants to grow under a black walnut tree in PA
I want to plant some shrubs and flowers in an area with southern exposure that is dry, sunny, and within the drip line of, and partially under a large black walnut tree. I had been told that native pl...
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Reading, PA
Transferring a palm tree from Florida to Pennsylvania from Reading PA
Is it legal to transport a small palm tree (12" high) from FL to PA?
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Mountville, PA
Can Juncus effusus winter outside in Mountville PA?
If we have the juncus effusus spiralis outside in a small pond and you say to let it outside in the winter does that mean we should let it in the pond? thanks for your time
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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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Holtwood, PA
Trillium seed collection
I am interested in propagating trillium from seeds. When are the seeds ready to be harvested? I removed day lily pods prom the plants and then found out I had picked them too early
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West Grove, PA
Is Bushy Knotweed carcinogenic from West Grove PA
Is the invasive Bushy Knotweed / PORA3 / Polygonum ramosissimum toxic to the extent that the spores are carcinogenic?
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Leesport, PA
Replacement for black walnut near septic tank
We have a black walnut tree growing on the sunny side of our house which provides wonderful shade in the summer but it is such a dirty tree. The leaves drop very early as well as small branches and t...
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Chester Springs, PA
Evergreen vine or plant that is non-toxic for horses in Pennsylvania
I am looking for an evergreen vine or plant that can grow in shade and is not toxic to horses. I live 30 miles west of Philadephia. Can you help me? I would like to camouflage a wire horse fence. It ...
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Pottstown, PA
Water-loving native plants for Pottstown, PA
I live about 40 miles west of Philadelphia. I am looking for a water absorbing evergreen tree/bush/plant that I could plant in the rear of my yard. We get a small stream every good rain and the back...
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