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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Questions From Near You

Chesapeake, VA
Looking for lunaria in VA
Where in the state of Virginia or North Carolina can I purchase the Lunaria annual plant? (the purple leaf lunaria annual plant)
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Chesapeake, VA
Strange growths in flower bed in Virginia
What in the heck are these strange growths in my flower bed?I can't even describe. May I send you pictures?
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Chesapeake, VA
Cottage-style landscaping for Chesapeake VA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plant staff, I recently moved into a cottage style home that has a poured concrete/paver patio. I am trying to come up with ideas for plantings that would 1. give me a bit of privacy,...
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Chesapeake, VA
Camellia seeds
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants; I have a Camellia plant that has bulbs that look like they could be fruit. And when this bulb opened, four or five little nuts came out. Are they fruit or nuts and can they be e...
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Hampton, VA
Large shrubs for privacy screen in VA
Tonight my husband and I took down two large shrubs about 15' tall and spread across our yard to provide mostly privacy from the road and traffic noise. My question is this, since it's the front of ...
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Hampton, VA
Possibility of growing Smilax pumila (Wild Sarsaparilla Vine in Virginia
Hello, I am inquiring about a plant my grandmother keeps telling me about. It's called sarasee (sp?). It's supposed to have some medicinal properties like helping with a cold and things of that nat...
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Virginia Beach, VA
Planting a tulip poplar in Virginia Beach VA
Hi. I would like to plant a Yellow Poplar, 'Tulip Tree' in my front yard. I will not be able to plant this tree until after November 15th. The tree will receive direct sun and will be exposed to hea...
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Virginia Beach, VA
Transplanting bamboo
To transplant bamboo from one place to another, do you dig the plant up or do you get a cutting, put it in water and then root the plant?
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Virginia Beach, VA
Transplanting a redbud in Virginia Beach VA
I have a 5-6 ft. Redbud Tree and like to dig up and move to different spot in my backyard. How/what is the proper way to do it without killing the tree?
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Virginia Beach, VA
Wet adapted plants for Virginia Beach VA
I live in Virginia Beach, VA on Lynnhaven waterway (leads into Chesapeake bay, but at my point is more brackish). I've recently removed/contained bamboo with concrete and metal barriers and now want...
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Virginia Beach, VA
Native wildflowers for farm in Virginia
I am looking for wildflowers native to VA to spread in various beds around our Virginia Beach farm - does a mix exist, similar to what would have been spread along highways, that you can help me locat...
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Virginia Beach, VA
Non-native arica palm
I have been watering an arica palm in my house in Va. Beach, VA. The leaves continue to get brown, dry up and die. I'm not sure if it has a disease or something else. Can you help?
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Virginia Beach, VA
Transplant time for Virginia Beach, VA
I have a friend who is not a gardener but lives on a piece of property that has a gorgeous back yard with lots of plants, shrubs and trees that are becoming overgrown. I have her permission to dig up...
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Virginia Beach, VA
Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
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Newport News, VA
Plants to stop erosion on land near lake
My back yard runs down to the lake. The water is eroding my land. I want plants & flowers [full sun]that can be planted to stop the erosion and add color. Another question: We have a huge oak tree ...
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Newport News, VA
Looking for a male Southern Wax Myrtle in Newport News, VA.
We are looking to add more southern wax Myrtles to make a hedge row with them. We already have one in the ground that is a female. I have called around to see if anyone sells the male but i keep get...
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Suffolk, VA
Will not cutting grass make its roots stronger?
I live on a lake that has a hill. There is some problem with erosion on the hillside. Our association wants us to not cut the grass to stop the erosion. How does not cutting the grass help the roots g...
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Windsor, VA
Red pods on Canna Lilies from Windsor VA
What are the dark red pods on my canna lilies?
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Yorktown, VA
Honeysuckle bush for San Antonio, Tx
I'm looking for a gift for my brother, living in San Antonio. He loves the native honeysuckle that we both remember from our childhoods. I think I'd like to get him a honeysuckle bush rather than ...
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Williamsburg, VA
Grooming and propagation of Bee Balm
I planted our first Bee Balm [Mornarda didyma] bush a month ago. I`ve watered it daily and it is growing well with many runners apparent. Should I be deheading or pinching regularly? Should I cut it ...
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williamsburg, VA
Value of planting wildflowers versus maintaining turf
I'm trying to determine the cost/value of planting wildflowers and whether it is less costly than maintaining turf. Do you have any research on this topic?
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