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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

laurel, MD
Plants/grasses for a bioswale in Maryland
Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a good seed mixture, wetland plant/grass mix, to use in Bio-Swales in central Maryland. Can you help me?
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Columbia, MD
Ground cover for shady area in Maryland
What ground cover grows well on a shady slope with close to surface tree roots?
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Highland, MD
Deer resistant, shade tolerant trees for part shade in Highland MD
Deer resistant privacy trees for partial shady area in Highland, MD.
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Severn, MD
Native grasses for a sandy Maryland yard
Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Severn (AA County) where we have sandy soil and on a well/septic system. Can you tell me a native grass I can seed in my yard? Something hardy and does not require a ...
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Severn, MD
Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
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New Carrollton, MD
Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
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Hyattsville, MD
Smarty Plants on potted plants
How do you know when it is time to transfer a potted plant to a bigger pot? Everytime I do this my plant dies.
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Bowie, MD
Native plants to prevent erosion in Maryland
Please can you recommend native plants for a north-facing slope, under pine trees? I live in Maryland near the border between the Coastal Plain and Piedmont Plateau, where we have cold to mild Winter...
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Takoma Park, MD
Healthy native plants supporting local economy from Tacoma Park MD
I am collecting information on how healthy native plant communities can support the local economy. Do you think the Texas bluebonnets are a good example of this in Texas? For example, do you know ma...
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Takoma Park, MD
Information on Mrs. Johnsons efforts in highway beautification
Perhaps you can help. I am trying to unearth a little history of Lady Bird and her involvement in the beautification of our highways, especially as it relates to using native plants. This is for a p...
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Takoma Park, MD
Ground cover for a slope in MD
Looking for a groundcover to hold a shady slope undercut with tree roots in Maryland and to prevent further erosion.
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Ellicott City, MD
Shade Tree for Baltimore Patio
I am looking for a deep-rooted shade tree (or a tall shrub) for near my patio in Baltimore, Md. I desire shade in summer, but with minimum impact to the patio. The tree would be about 20 feet from the...
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Silver Spring, MD
Follow-up on Viburnum dentatum question
This is a follow up to an earlier question, posted Sept 20, about Viburnum dentatum shrubs. I'm not sure I understand your answer. If the person having trouble getting berries went out and bought a...
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Silver Spring, MD
Positioning a bald cypress among cattails in Silver Spring MD
We have a rain garden, half of which is fairly overrun with broad- and narrow-leaf cattails. We've learned to be aggressive in thinning these out 2 to 3 times during the growing season. We also have ...
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Silver Spring, MD
The origin of Juncus effusus var. Big Twister
Juncus effusus, var. 'Big Twister' We're trying to figure out the nativity of this thing, and whether it is safe to plant in our very wet rain garden. Thank you for any assistance...
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Silver Spring, MD
Source for Carex senta plugs in Maryland
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have discovered that Carex senta would be a great plant to replace grass that is just not working. There are numerous articles supporting this, as well as my local coun...
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Silver Spring, MD
Deer-resistant plants for Maryland
Hello- I have a acre that is mostly full-sun (and no shade on the house) and part shade (edge of the yard) and not much in between. It is also overrun with hungry deer! I am having a hard time finding...
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Silver Spring, MD
Failure of Viburnum dentatum to produce berries in Maryland
I planted several Viburnum dentatum shrubs in a hedgerow for my yard. Although I have some other viburnums in the yard, this shrub blooms profusely but does not ever produce berries. What can I do t...
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Silver Spring, MD
Native, non-invasive plant seeds for each region in U.S.
I need to identify a wildflower from each region that we can package in custom packaging to use as giveaways at our member zoos and aquariums. Our project this year is called Conservation Made Simple...
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Linthicum Heights, MD
Elimination of non-native English ivy in Maryland
I have Old English Ivy sprouting up throughout my side yard. What can I do to get rid of it? Would putting lime down help or Crabgrass control? What would you suggest and the easier the better as I...
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Kensington, MD
Clearing up the nativity of so-called Baltimore sedge (Carex senta)
Dear Smarty Pants: Hi, did you ever get more clarity on the Carex senta issue (baltimore sedge)? Whether or not it was a wetland grass? I too am in Maryland and was thinking of planting it for a law...
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