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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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Webster, NY
Moving wildflowers into a pollinator garden in Webster NY
I live in the Western New York area and would like to utilize unwanted wildflowers near our roadside and woodland area into a large pollinator garden I am creating. What is a safe way to move an enti...
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Webster, NY
Flowers that open during the day from Webster NY
Can you provide some information on flowers and plants that open during day with some examples.
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Rochester, NY
Plectranthus (native of South Africa) winter care and insects
I was recently given a beautiful plant which is now in a pot in my yard. I live in Rochester, NY and need to know what to do with this plant in the fall. The plant is 'Mona Lavender' Plectranthus p...
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Rochester, NY
Two-leafed trilliums
Turns out our 2 leafed plant IS a trillium..I saw that another person from our town also asked about trilliums..we are happy to have them, but it is confusing when the third upper leaf is absent or ve...
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Rochester, NY
Bare feet-friendly native groundcovers for New York
We own land at elevation 1600', near Sherburn, NY. We want to walk barefoot around the tipi area, but don't want to plant grass (mowing grass). What native ground cover would be kind to bare feet ...
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Rochester, NY
Plant identification
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants: We conducted an Internet search to find a name for a plant we have that has 2 opposing leaves on stalks, and is starting to grow a purple flower in the middle, near the groun...
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Rochester, NY
Failure to bloom of 4-year-old redbud in Rochester, NY
I planted a redbud four years ago and it still hasn't flowered - it does get the lovely leaves. When I planted it it was only an 18 inch stick. How long before it will bloom or is something wrong?
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Rochester, NY
Endangered species of trillium on disturbed soil in New York
Hello, I live in Rochester New York, near a gully/ravine by woodland. Quite a gem. Anyway here's my question and concern. In the past 35 years there have been trillium in small "pockets" or sing...
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Rochester, NY
Bug repelling plants from Rochester NY
I live in Western NY (zone 6?) and have a shady area where I hang my swing, but it's so buggy under the tree I can't use it! The soil is very dry, rocky. Is there a plant/shrub that I can grow the...
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Rochester, NY
Want salt, shade, drought tolerant plant for Rochester, New York
I am looking for a ground cover plant for western NY to grow on a strip alongside a road that gets very little sun in summer (lots of tree branches shading it). It gets a lot of road salt in winter a...
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Rochester, NY
Short or mowable plant for walkway
I'd like a short and/or mowable plant to use as a walkway in and around a vegetable garden in upstate NY. I was planning on clover, but I want to use a native plant if possible. The native clovers ...
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Rochester, NY
Identification of plant that looks like a spider plant
Okay Mr. Smarty Pants, I have an identification for you. I have no pictures, but I've been staring at this plant for weeks trying to figure out what it is. I got it as a cutting from a friend who got...
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Rochester, NY
Shrubs for a fenceline in NY
Need to replace shrubs along a fence. Currently have Honeysuckle and they are very old. Would like to have something different with more color & interest during winter months. The line of shrubs are h...
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Rochester, NY
Vegetables for sustainable garden in Rochester NY
I have decided to start growing a small sustainable garden. Therefore I have decided to plant mostly North American native greens and vegetables. I live in upstate New York and so the plants designed ...
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Rochester , NY
Propagating a magnolia by cuttings in Rochester, NY
How can I start a magnolia snip from my already existing tree, to grow another one from it, like a starter to pass on to someone?
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Red Creek, NY
Bark splitting in old tulip tree in Red Creek, NY.
Hello, We have a tulip tree that has some bark splitting I guess I would call it. The tree is older and very tall. On the north side of it starting at the bottom of the trunk to about 8-9 feet up i...
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Conesus, NY
Identification of plant with purple leaves and yellow flowers
I'd like to know the name of a plant that has purplish leaves and sends roots out underground to make new plants. It can be invasive. It has yellow flowers. Leaves are oval in shape. Almost looks lik...
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Knowlesville, NY
Possible identification of common mullein in New York
OK I have a monster size plant, growing beside my patio, looked weedlike similar to a burdock when young, but different and interesting. So we let it grow its now about 7'2" tall grows about 2-3" ...
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Jordan, NY
Planting shrubs and flowers under pine trees in New York
We just started to plant flowers and the whole back side of our yard is pine trees. I was wondering what types of flowers can be planted under them, and what kind of plants or shrubs can be planted un...
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Oswego, NY
Getting rid of non-native lesser celandine in Oswego NY
Help! We have lesser celandine on approx. an acre of our property right on Lake Ontario, it's in my gardens and in our yard, and in the woods, I have dug it out of my gardens, but I'm not able to g...
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Oswego, NY
Eliminating smartweed from pasture in Oswego NY
How do I get rid of smartweed in my pasture?
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