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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

Woodstock, VA
Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
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Castleton, VA
Plants for swan food
Dear Mr Smarty Pants, I have a farm in VA with a large pond or lake fenced in. I am rescuing a pair of swan and want to grow plants around the fence and pond that they can eat. Could you suggest an...
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Bridgewater, VA
Can animals eat bottlebrush buckeye without being poisoned?
Can deer, bear and wild turkey and squirrels eat the nuts and leaves from the bottlebrush buckeye shrub without being posioned by it.
view the full question and answer

Rochelle, VA
Bulk seed purchases for naturalizing area in Rochelle VA
I am planning on naturalizing an area, ~ 7 acres, with wildflowers. I am spending quite a bit preparing the acreage and find I am falling short on funds for the bulk purchase of wildflower seeds. Ca...
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Charles Town, WV
Horses exposed to toxic plants in Charles Town WV
Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a big problem on my hands! Four of my horses have gotten into something toxic, but I must find out what. I found an unusual plant that a mare chased her foal away from. It's ...
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Fort Ashby, WV
Identification of mystery shrub in West Virginia
Hi, my husband and I purchased some land to build a home. After we dug out the driveway a large shrub or tree started growing in the altered dirt that I have never seen and I don't know what it is. I...
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Purcellville, VA
Plant Identification
I recently found a GIANT green seed pod around my small town in Northern Virginia. It's about 1 ft. 3 in. in diameter (15 in.) and its making me very curious as to what exactly it is. For the life of...
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Prince William, VA
Deer and rabbit resistant plants for Virginia
I am trying to find deer and rabbit resistant plants/ornamental grasses and flowers to create a year round garden (garden with interest all year) in two large and one small flowerbed in the front of o...
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Earlysville, VA
Identification of small mint-like plant in Virginia
I am looking for a mint plant my mother use to have but we didn't plant. It grew in Earlysville, Virginia in red clay soil. The cat loved it but it was neither catnip nor catmint. It was under six in...
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Martinsburg, WV
Slope eroding in Martinsburg WV
I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. My soil is shale/clay I am unable to grow grass it seems to burn up every year. It gets full sun and is on a hill. I have used topsoil and reseeded it...
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Harpers Ferry, WV
Erosion control for steep slope in West Virginia
I live in Zone 6 (Eastern Panhandle of WV). I have a rocky, claylike steep slope (30-40% grade, about 50 feet wide and 20 feet long, it sits in the afternoon sun). So I need to plant erosion-control p...
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Harpers Ferry, WV
Erosion preventing plants for West Virginia
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and I've got a hillside that's too steep to mow. I'd like to put in plants that other than weeding and regular tending, will...
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Waterford, VA
Deer and rabbit repelling plants at nature sanctuary in Waterford VA
We have established a native pollinator garden at our nature sanctuary. Last summer deer and perhaps rabbits devastated it. Now people are proposing surrounding it with boxwood which deer don't like-...
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Leesburg, VA
Failure to flourish of Trumpet Creeper in Leesburg VA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Late last year I planted a trumpet creeper vine to grow on my fence and attract hummingbirds. It gets full sun, is in average soil and gets adequate water. I put a few daylilli...
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Shepherdstown, WV
Mites in soil of house plants
Hi there! I recently noticed tiny silver mites in the soil of my plants that I only notice after watering. These plants are indoors in on a window ledge (a dwarf palm, aloe plant and Hawaiian Scheffle...
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Davis, WV
Native, non-invasive plants for Canaan Valley, WV
I recently purchased a home on an acre of land in the middle of Canaan Valley, WV. The front yard is flat and sunny, the back is on a ridge and is a little forest with a creek at the bottom. The tre...
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Lovettsville, VA
Plants for bird garden in Virginia
I am expanding on a bird attracting garden and would like to know what plants to plant. It is a shade to partial sun area, in an approx. 9' circle, both small shrubs and flowers would be nice.
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Cumberland, MD
Are wild cherry trees poisonous for horses?
I have just purchased a pony and have been told that wild cherry trees could cause harm or even kill her. Is this true and where can I go to get a list of all the poisonous plants, shrubs and trees fo...
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Crozet, VA
Short evergreen shrub for Virginia
I have been looking everywhere for an evergreen shrub that is 3-4 ft. in height, non-poisonous to humans, and that thrives in zone 7 to no avail. Please help!
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Ashburn, VA
Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
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Ashburn, VA
Need to know how to plant trees to create a windbreak in Ashburn, VA.
I want to know how to plant trees to create windbreaks. I live on a slope of a hill, the front of the house is steep and the back of the house has neighbors in a cul de sac. I swear I live in a wind...
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