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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

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

Vineland Station, ON
Inducing flowering out of season
We are currently conducting research on insect transmission of a plant virus to flowering weeds. Is there a process to trick biennials into flowering in their first year?
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St.Catharines, ON
Conditions for wisteria bloom on Ontario, Canada
I live in Ontario Canada, and about 4 years ago I bought a shrub which was called wisteria. I loved this bush when I visited a cousin out in British Columbia. The problem is it has no trouble growing ...
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Niagara Falls, NY
Red buckeye not blooming in NY
I planted my red buckeye in September 2007 and it was about 18 inches tall. It is now a few inches short of 5ft. tall. I have had it in the ground for nearly 4 yrs and it has never bloomed. I have fr...
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Niagara Falls, NY
Burned leaves on trumpet vine, Campsis radicans
I have a trumpet vine, it is about 10 years old and I have never had any problems with it. This year I have noticed that the leaves on some of the branches are shriveling up, like it was burned with ...
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Niagara Falls, NY
Trailing snapdragon hanging basket has flowers that are turning brown.
Trailing snapdragon hanging basket in yellow, flowers are turning brown all over the plant. Why? I water every day as told & fertilized once in 3 weeks. It was so beautiful.
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Burlington, ON
Seed regrowth through mulch
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants: I have planted a perennial and wildflower garden and would like to put mulch down to control the weeds and retain moisture. Will the plants that drop their seeds be able to re- ...
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Burlington, ON
Non-native hosta and cedar tree in Burlington, ON
Will hosta grow along side cedar trees, if planted at the same time?
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Dundas, ON
Smarty Plants on dutchmans pipe
How do I care for and transplant dutchman pipe?
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Tonawanda, NY
Non-native, invasive Arctium minus in New York
For as long as I can remember, my family has been picking and eating a wild plant which we and other Italian families call " cardoons". I've often heard to it referred to burdock but no one knows t...
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wilson, NY
Plants to hold a slope in Northern New York
I'm looking for native (South shore, Lake Ontario) plants to slow erosion on a steep, 20 foot bank. They don't have to be decorative (although flowering plants are always nice), but they should SPRE...
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Buffalo, NY
Identification of shrub with pink catalpa-like flowers
Ironically, this plant is growing on a hill behind a nursery. We are all curious what it could be..I've done internet searches for 2 days. My best guess is that it's in the catalpa family, but it's...
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Buffalo, NY
Plant Identification
What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks....
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Buffalo, NY
Butterfly garden from Buffalo, NY
I'd like to replace the grass in my front yard with a native butterfly garden that will suit the larval and adult stages of butterflies in Western New York. The patch in question faces north and gets...
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Buffalo, NY
Viability of Taxus canadensis (Canadian yew) for Buffalo, NY
I live in Buffalo, N.Y. and am gradually naturalizing my back yard. The previous owner built a 6' fence along the western edge of the yard and planted a straight line of arborvitae, which are now abo...
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Buffalo, NY
Small ornamental tree in Buffalo, NY
Hi.. My family and I have recently moved from coastal North Carolina to Buffalo NY. We have chosen to live in south Buffalo and therefore have a small front yard. We are looking for the perfect tree...
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Toronto, ON
Deer resistant plants for Toronto, Ontario
What are the native trees and shrubs that are resistant to deer browsing and rubbing?
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Toronto, ON
Smarty Plants on seed harvesting
I am interested in learning more about harvesting native seeds. I manage a number of sites where restoration projects will involve planting, and we would like to use native seed stocks. Could you te...
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Toronto, ON
Plant identification
I came back from vacation to find a wild herb growing in my back yard. It looks similar to dill, cilantro, or fennel; which makes me think it's in the umbrelliferae family, but it's not a large plan...
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Toronto, ON
Who ate the Jack-in-the-Pulpit in Ontario?
Something has dug up my clump of Jack-in-the-pulpit at my parents' cottage in the Haliburtons (Ontario, Canada). Leaves, berries and roots are gone. We know we have a black bear who likes our compo...
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toronto, ON
Book on the wildflowers of South America
i am looking for a book on wildflowers of south america...any idea where i can find one?
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Toronto, ON
Controlling mildew on Gaillarida sp.
Any suggestions for controlling mildew on blanket flower? It's spreading throughout my garden.
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