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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

Washington, DC
Are baldcypress trees (Taxodium distichum) self-fertile
We are considering planting a bald cypress in a grassy children's play area that has fair amount of clay in the soil and receives a good amount of rain water from an adjacent slope. This seems a good...
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Washington,, DC
Mealy bugs on plants in Washington, DC
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, There is this white stuff, looking like snow flakes, that is attacking my office plants. I use gasduster to blow it off of them, but that does not stop it from reappearing. Wh...
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Washington, DC
Ground cover for steep slope in Washington DC
We have a steep slope in our garden in Washington DC which has sun from noon to sun set. Could you please recommend some low maintenance plants which would be a good ground cover and limit erosion?
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Washington, DC
Native plants for pots for wedding in November
Will any of the plants that are in your big plant sale be flowering in November? I am looking for plants that would do well in pots because I'd like to use them as center pieces at a wedding (in Aus...
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Washington, DC
Plants for small shady area with clay soil
Many people have space between the sidewalk and the street in front of their homes. In that space in front of our house is a growing maple that provides a lot of shade. The space is very dry, with...
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Washington, DC
Something eating Monarda didyma in Washington DC
Please Help, I have a couple of Bee Balm, Jacob Cline, plants, whose leave are being eaten, by what I do not know. None of the nurseries around here seem to have ever heard of this happening to this p...
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Washington, DC
What is pulling Indian Grass out of a park in Washington DC?
We are renovating a park in Washington, DC on the waterfront. We have planted Sorghastrum Nutans (Indian Grass). During the evening/overnight something is pulling the plants from the ground. It is onl...
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Washington, DC
Need suggestions for alternatives for Crape Myrtle in Washington, DC.
What can you recommend as native alternatives to the shorter (garden-sized) crape myrtle cultivars?
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Washington, DC
Smarty Plants on invasive and exotic plant species
Where can I go to learn more about invasive and exotic plant species?
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Washington, DC
Smarty Plants Exotic Species
What is an Exotic Species?
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Washington, DC
Smarty Plants Exotic Species
What Makes an Exotic Species Invasive? (When is a Guest a Pest?)
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Washington, DC
Smarty Plants on Invasive Plants
How many plants are invasive?
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Washington, DC
Smarty Plants on Invasive Plants
How bad are invasive species?
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Washington, DC
Plants associated with Acer rubrum (Red maple)
What plants are commonly associated with Acer rubrum in its natural habitat?
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Washington, DC
Source for Carex blanda in Washington DC
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, After reading your recommendations, Carex blanda seems to be a suitable evergreen native plant for a small pond island planter I am making for our small backyard turtle pond....
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Washington, DC
Shrubs for a screen in DC
Live in Washington DC vicinity (zones: 7-8). Looking for hardy shrubs to screen a 47 foot long picket fence and provide barrier to neighbor. It is western exposure with sun light. Ideally evergreen, d...
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Washington, DC
Rain garden plants for DC
Please recommend deep-rooted, native, perennial plants, 1-3 feet high, for an area that is moist and gets approximately 3 hours of day of afternoon sun. During rain storms this garden is in a low area...
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Washington, DC
Shrubs for planting under hollies in DC
I would like shrub suggestions for planting under holly trees. I live in Washington, DC and have 2 very well-established large holly trees (2 story tall trees) in the front of our house, facing north...
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Washington, DC
Butterfly plants for Washington DC area
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am a teacher working with very young students to establish a wildlife garden. We received a donated butterfly bush of a smallish cultivar, but wondering if there is a native...
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Washington, DC
Broad leaved evergreens for DC
We are looking for a flowering evergreen shrub, native to the mid-Atlantic, that grows in part shade but will tolerate full sun. We have been researching rhododendrons and azaleas but are concerned a...
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Washington, DC
Replacing Nandina with natives for a schoolyard in Washington DC
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Our schoolyard now has some invasive plants in the landscaping that we would like to replace with native plants. We have four clumps of Nandina planted at each pillar along a...
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