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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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Questions From Near You

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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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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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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Norfolk, VA
Watering newly planted woodland plants in VA
How frequently should newly planted, native plants, growing in wooded areas be watered? Is it better to not water at all than to use sprinklers in which case the water rarely saturates the leaf...
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Norfolk, VA
Identification of perennial with dark red/purple flowers
Need to identify a lovely perennial here in Norfolk, Virginia. It reseeds itself, spreads, and lingers into the late fall. It has rather thick, dark green, alternate spatulate leaves at the base wit...
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Norfolk, VA
Plant identification of vine in Virginia
Have vine that has small 3 pointed leaves somewhat like a grape but only an inch or 2 long. Adult fruit is black or purple egg shaped and only 3/4 of an inch long. Fruit is single in the middle of th...
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Norfolk, VA
Plants to cover 1000 square foot wall in Virginia
In Norfolk, VA, I want to cover a large (1000 sq ft) cement wall with a variety of maintenance free plant life. Any recommendations?
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Norfolk, VA
Groundcover for strip on street from Norfolk VA
My house is on the east side of a north/south street. Between the curb and sidewalk is a strip about 3' wide, with two crepe myrtles spaced about 20' apart and a mix of sparse weeds and grass leavi...
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Norfolk, VA
Existence of plant named
My mother's middle name is Orabelle - "beautiful seacoast." Some variations are "Orabel" and "Ord." Is there a plant that is so named and where might I be able to purchase it? I live in Norf...
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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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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
Reason for decline of Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) in Virginia
We have Wax Myrtle bushes in our back yard. They were about 2 feet tall when planted 2 years ago and now are about 7-8 feet tall. The leaves have turned brown and are dropping essentially denuding the...
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Williamsburg, VA
Controlling vegetation around retention pond in Williamsburg, VA
We planted Juncus effusus around a retention pond and various native shrubs last year. We are having a problem controlling bramble,lespedeza and broadleaf natives from taking over and native trees(wil...
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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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Windsor, VA
Red pods on Canna Lilies from Windsor VA
What are the dark red pods on my canna lilies?
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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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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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