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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

Nottingham, PA
My plants are choking.
I have a trailing weed that is choking the other plants in my garden. It grows super fast and it has small white flowers. The flower looks a bit like a mini morning glory. I have tried pulling it as m...
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Scenery Hill, PA
Where can I find a pignut hickory tree to plant in Scenery Hill, PA?
Where can I buy Pignut Hickory tree, 10', B&B?
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Whitehall, PA
Evergreen for privacy in PA
We need to plant a privacy/sound barrier hedge/hedgerow and my husband says it must be evergreen. I am not familiar with which species would be native to our area and I just don't trust those big sto...
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Mount Lebanon, PA
GMO/GE crops killing wildflowers and insects
Hi, I've read where GMO/GE crops in other countries were killing the wildflowers and insects adjacent to those fields. Have you had any reports of this North America. Best regards.
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Washington, PA
Swarming insects on non-native willow in Washington PA
I have had a very large, beautiful pillow willow bush/tree growing next to our garage for about 8 years. Last year at the end of August, it began to attract white-faced hornets and yellow jackets by t...
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McKeesport, PA
Creeping buttercups in juniper in McKeesport PA
I have creeping buttercups in my juniper ground cover. How do I get rid of them.
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West Mifflin, PA
Plants for erosion control in West Mifflin PA
I have recently had a retaining wall rebuilt in my back yard and an above the ground pool installed. My lawn is uneven with no grass and the hillside is very dry dirt with rocks. What type of plant ...
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mcdonald, PA
Can plants in the same genus cross-pollinate?
Can you cross-pollinate plants from the same genus?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plants for erosion control in Pittsburgh, PA
I have a terraced high side lot(front of house). I currently have Yuccas growing, but they are too invasive. Can you suggest plants, shrubs, or ground covers that are not as invasive and will still ...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Leaves on maple turning red in June in Pittsburgh PA
We live in PA and have a medium sized maple tree in our back yard. It is not a red maple. This year, in June, the very top of the tree's foliage turned bright red. This bright red started at the t...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
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Pittsburgh, PA
Bugbane Leaf Blotch
My bugbanes (Cimicifuga/Actaea) seem to suffer from black blotches on the leaves in the summer. This happens even when they have adequate moisture. I also see it on the ones growing wild. Is this a fu...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Non-native and/or hybridized shrubs in Pittsburg PA
I planted 2 boulevard cypress pom pom trees last year in my front yard in the clay conditioned soil. We dug the tree holds according to the planting instruction and filled some sand in the bottom for ...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Deer-resistant groundcover under pine trees
what kind of ground covering can be planted under pine trees (acid soil) that the deer will not eat and will not attract bees?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plant identification
I love around Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and I saw a strange plant. It has a soft green outer shell, a harder thinner shell inside, points, but aren't pointy, and a white substance out of the stem when...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Propagating trees in Pennsylvania
I have been wanting to plant trees at our family camp for quite a few years now to help provide food for the wildlife during in preparation for the cold winters. As a college student, however, both f...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Deer resistant plants for erosion control on steep hill
I would like control a steep hill behind my house that is red clay, northern exposure with little sun. What plants would you recommend that deer will not eat?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Low-growing lawn substitute for Pennsylvania
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants Please help. We are moving to an old farm house in Western Pennsylvania with several acres of lawn. Our plan is to return much of the land to wildlife friendly meadows and woo...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Planting turf grass in PA
Is it too late to plant new grass in mid October in Pittsburg? Should I wait until Spring at this point?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plants for the Shade of a Pine Tree in Pittsburg
I live in Pittsburgh, PA. My neighbor has a huge pine tree. Last year everything I planted on that side near the tree died. That part of the yard only gets morning sun, as the tree overshadows it. Wha...
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Pittsburgh, PA
First spring wildflower to bloom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In Pittsburgh PA what spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom?
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