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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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Denver, NC
Pruning a non-native Hinoki cypress from Denver NC
Hi! Our painters have asked that we trim the Golden Hinoki Cypress back from the house. The tree is about 20' tall, beautiful and healthy. Since it is July and therefore, HOT! I'm wondering how t...
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Iron Station, NC
Mulching vegetables with straw
I have a small garden with 4 different veggies, tomatoes, hot peppers, squash & cucumbers. which plants is it OK to put straw under? which plants will straw hurt the stalks or other possibilities? tha...
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Corneilius, NC
Need a ground cover to stop erosion on a slope next to a pond.
I have a large natural pond. One side has a steep slope. I need a attractive,low/no maintenance, evergreen? plant to stop the erosion into the pond. Cornelius/charlotte nc
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Mooresville, NC
Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, eve...
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Mooresville, NC
Native water plants for bio-retention pond in North Carolina
I am looking for North Carolina native plants that can take part shade and very wet conditions (bioretention pond environment). Any suggestions?
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Lincolnton, NC
Source of Calycanthus floridus in Lincolnton NC
I have been trying to find a Calycanthus Floridus, I want to plant them around the house, but have had no luck. I live in Lincolnton, NC do you know of any place I can find them?
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Huntersville, NC
Getting rid of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac
How can I rid my yard of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac? I have tried roundup, poison ivy roundup and even a clorox solution and nothing seems to kill it, I keep seeing it come up. Any help ...
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Statesville, NC
Plant identification
I have a plant that came up in a flower pot.I wonder if you could hep me.The plant has six leaves to a stem and the leaves close up at night
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Statesville, NC
Evergreen groundcover for full sun in North Carolina
I have an area that is in full sun and I need to know the best low growing evergreen that possibly flowers to help cover where a ditch/water drainage pipe is below the planting area.
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Cherryville, NC
Obtaining Agave parryi in Cherryville NC
I live in western North Carolina and I had a friend that had a Agave parryi that bloomed about 1 year ago and of course it died. Since i saw the beautiful agave I have wanted one, but no one in my are...
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charlotte , NC
Tall perennials for a sunny North Carolina border
I need border plants for in front of a picket fence along front sidewalk. Space is only approx 1'6" wide and widening is not an option. So far I have daylilies, cannas, Mexican petunias, daisies, i...
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Charlotte, NC
Cutting Gardens from Charlotte, NC
I want to plant a year-round picking garden for flowers to bring into my home. I want to look at landscape plans in lieu of throwing down wildflower seeds. Can you suggest a few websites for ideas?
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Charlotte, NC
Identification of rose campion
My friend shared a plant with me and I cannot identify it. She said that it was Rose Campriow? or something like this. It has very small pink/purplish blooms with grey green foliage. It is a perenn...
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Charlotte, NC
Non-native citronella mosquito plant wintering inside in Charlotte NC
Can I bring the citronella mosquito plant in the house over the winter, or should it be planted outside. I live in Charlotte, NC.
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Charlotte, NC
Shrubs meeting homeowners assoc. requirements in Charlotte NC
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am doing my darndest to establish a bird and bee friendly patch of earth here in Charlotte, NC, but I'm having a terrible time finding a shrub that matches my homeowners...
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Charlotte, NC
Native plants for erosion control in North Carolina
I have an area on the north side of my house that is a hill with about a 6:1 slope. It also has a set of steps used to get from the front of the yard to the rear yard. It is very shaded. I am havin...
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Charlotte, NC
Native flowers and plants for meadow in North Carolina
I live in Rock Hill, SC, just south of Charlotte, NC. I would like to have recommendations for planting native flowers and plants in a small meadow in my backyard. Do you have any suggestions or kno...
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Charlotte, NC
Plant identification
I see a previous question from Ohio on this plant, so I will copy the description and try to submit photos. "A year later a weed-like plant started growing beside it. It has very thorny leaves, stem...
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Charlotte, NC
Plants to put beside driveway
I have a 100 foot dying grassy side to my driveway. It is about 5 foot wide. What could I plant that would not look like soldiers but be at least 4 foot high and I could use mulch or needles to beauti...
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Charlotte, NC
Privacy Screen Tree for Patio in NC
What is a good tree to plant in front of a brick wall/fence to provide privacy and not compromise the structural integrity of the wall? The brick fence is my neighbors but I need privacy as they can s...
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Charlotte, NC
Shade trees for NC
What fast growing non invasive tree would be good to plant in a sub-division that could possibly shade my 2 story house? I would like it to have a tap root system so that it is strong in windy condit...
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