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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

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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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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Warfordsburg, PA
Taking a cutting from Niagara grape in Warfordsburg PA
How do I take a cutting from a Niagara grape plant, and then re-plant that cutting?
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New Paris, PA
Poisonous weeds in Bedford County, PA
I am battling my second bad round of poison in a month, this time on my face and in my left eye. It's awful. Problem is, I have looked and looked for poison ivy, oak and sumac around my neighborhoo...
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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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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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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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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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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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Stahlstown, PA
Smarty Plants on native plant purchases
I am looking for an article(s), white paper, policy, etc. that addresses responsible native plant purchases. I have your genetics piece, but am looking for something more broad that addresses what a ...
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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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Saxton, PA
Penalty for picking Kalmia latifolia in Pennsylvania
What if any is the penalty for picking the Mountain Laurel wild flower in Pennsylvania when it is in bloom?
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hagerstown, MD
Care of non-native house plant, probably Coleus
What would cause the new leaves of a house plant to be solid green? When I bought it, the original leaves were almost like a "tie-dye" fabric (green,yellow,orange, and red).
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Ligonier, PA
Source for ground pine plants from Ligonier PA
Where can I purchase "ground pine plants? I want to use them for erosion control.
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Johnstown, PA
Possibilities of plants for bank shale ledge in Johnstown, PA
We have a mountain that we ripped out to build our house. The remaining ledge is mostly bank shale and everyone is telling us that nothing will grow on the hillside due to it being bank shale and a p...
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Burkittsville, MD
Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
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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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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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Morgantown, WV
Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, a...
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Morgantown, WV
Trees for barrier fence near swimming pool in West Virginia
Near swimming pool, barrier fence needs to replace pine trees. Prefer blooming perennial at least 12' high,low sun exposure, minimal pruning.
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