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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

Arlington, VA
Small shrubs for roof garden in Washington DC
I am looking for a hardy evergreen shrub for a roof garden in DC. Needs to be 3-4 feet tall, evergreen, dense, survive the extreme wind, cold and heat.
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Arlington, VA
Ground cover for wildlife in Virginia
Looking for a good ground cover to replace what we've got growing in front of our condo in Northern Virginia. Something to provide cover for the birds and their fledgelings in the spring and summer, ...
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Arlington, VA
Pine trees for West Virginia
I have two acres in the Canaan Valley, West Va. and would like to plant pine trees. What type would you recommend that the deers won't eat and the cold climate won't kill.
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Arlington, VA
Looking for shrubs to replace Photinia as a privacy screen in Arlington, VA.
Suggestions to replace diseased red tipped photinia. Looking for hardy privacy screen type of evergreen, not too deep with height of approx. 10-12' Thank you
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Arlington, VA
Deer Resistant Plants for Northern Virginia
I'm looking for deer resistant shade plants in Northern Virginia. The deer have devoured my hostas, impatiens and native toad lily plants, day lilies.
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Arlington, VA
Plants for wet soil in turtle enclosure in Virginia
We recently installed a turtle pond in our backyard in Arlington, VA. We built an enclosure around the pond to protect the turtle from raccoons and herons, and left some open area for the turtle to g...
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Arlington, VA
Need bug repelling plants in Arlington, VA
What kind of plants are best bug repellents, and need little or no maintenance. I'm a city girl and don't like bugs (spiders)
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Arlington, VA
Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen in Arlington, VA.
I am looking for a tall-growing tree/shrub to act as a privacy screen with neighbors on two existing borders, including, e.g., blocking out the neighbors tall swing set gym, deck, and other activity, ...
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Falls Church, VA
Need suggestions for plants for a 45 degree slope in Falls Church, VA.
Have a 45 degree hillside 50 feet wide by 60 feet long on north side of 26 story building. Very little sun with the need for soil retention plants. Would like a native plant or plants to cover area...
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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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Alexandria , VA
Palm plant with lower inches browning in Alexandria VA
Palm plant 10 years old, about 5' tall, single trunk approximately 1" diameter, reddish green leaves about 12 to 14 inches long, original owner. All leaves on the lower 2 inches of plant leaves are ...
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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
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
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
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
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
Smarty Plants Exotic Species
What is an Exotic Species?
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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
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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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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