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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
Flower sucession for Washington DC
Interplanting to cover up spring ephemerals. When bulbs/spring ephemerals (camassia, bluebells, etc.) are dying back, their wilting leaves don't look so great. What can I plant to minimize the me...
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Washington, DC
Small Yard Tree for Washington DC
What do you suggest for a tree or shrub in my front yard? The yard is small; 9 ft x 12 ft. Thank you.
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Washington, DC
Transplant shock in Liatris spicata
I bought a liatris spicata start a month ago, and transplanted it into my front yard (full sun, clay soil, moist due to all the rain recently). The plant immediately wilted so I transplanted it in ...
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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
Problems with new transplant non-native weeping willow from Washington DC
I replanted a very young BABY weeping willow tree and now it looks as if the leaves are drying up like it is dying. I know that it could also be in shock from the new transplant or it can be dying ...
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Washington, DC
Self-watering planters
I'm a big proponent of the EarthBox (tm) phenomenon - that is, so-called "self-watering" or sub-irrigation planters where a separate but connected reservoir underneath the soil in the planter is fi...
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Washington, DC
Smarty Plants on Invasive Plants
How many plants are invasive?
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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 bad are invasive species?
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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
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
Vine for Patio Wall in D.C.
I have a concrete patio wall 4 feet tall and 9 feet long in Washington, D.C. The wall runs east to west and there is a patio above it. I am looking for vines to cover it so that I would not have to lo...
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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
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
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
Native alternative for liriope
I am looking for native alternatives to liriope for use in sun to part shade, moderate moisture planting beds. Would prefer evergreen options.
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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
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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