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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Fort Meyers, FL
Recommend native plants Florida
I live in Fort Meyers Florida. Can you recommend some good native tress and shrubs for my landscape?
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Fort Myers, FL
Native plants for a littoral zone in Fort Myers, Florida
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What native plants would you recommend for the littoral zone on a pond in Fort Myers Florida? Damon's Mom
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Winter Haven, FL
Plants to grow in shady sand in Florida
We live in central Florida (directly between Orlando and Tampa). Our yard is mostly sand for soil and difficult parts in shade almost all day from large trees. What ground cover (grass) and hedges can...
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St. Cloud, FL
Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
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Kissimmee, FL
Need source of Texas Madrone seeds or seedlings in Kissimmee FL.
Where can I can purchase seeds or seedlings for a Texas Madrone Tree? I appreciate your help. Thank you,
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Kissimmee, FL
Eradicating Campsis radicans in Kissimee FL
I am interested in information on eradicating or controlling 'cow itch' [campsis radicans?] which is spreading on an empty lot of land adjacent to an occupied dwelling. It is causing significant dis...
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Lake Placid, FL
Is Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) poisonous to pets? Probaly not.
Is Spanish Moss poisonous to pets? I have a dog which will eat anything.
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Lakeland, FL
Growth rate for eucalyptus in Florida
How fast does eucalyptus grow in Florida?
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Lakeland, FL
Dirt piled up around trunk of cypress tree in Lakeland FL
I have a 30-40 foot cypress tree that has just started looking like it is dying..limbs on top are drooping badly. In April of this year we put probably 3 feet of dirt/clay around the bottom of it, wa...
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Lakeland, FL
Dirt around bald cypress in Lakeland FL
Dirt around trunk of cypress.. Our tree is a Bald Cypress. We dug a hole to install a jacuzzi and put the dirt/clay around the trunk of the cypress to level the area out. I also laid several flag s...
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Lakeland, FL
Plant identification
I have a plant that looks like a suculent tree with a canopy like an umbrella. It grows every summer & is no more than 5 ft tall. It has tiny spines on it's trunk, which has white spots on it. the en...
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Lakeland, FL
Asclepias with whitish discoloration
I have red/scarlett milkweed planted in my yard. The leaves have a whitish discoloration on the top of some of the leaves and it is spreading. What is it? What do I do about it?
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Lakeland, FL
Identity of vines in Florida
Hello, I have 2 different types of vines growing in my shrubs. They are very pretty and I like them I just want to know if they are poisonous or if they will take over my shrubs. I have not been able ...
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Lakeland, FL
Erosion control from Lakeland FL
What native Ground cover is best for erosion control on slope of lake-front? Prefer not too invasive for this northern facing area behind a seawall and near large Oak tree.
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Lakeland, FL
Controlling live oak sprouts in Lakeland FL
We had a live oak taken down last year. We now have sprouts we cannot get rid of and they continue to multiply invading the lawn. We did not have this problem so much when the tree was there. Is ther...
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Palm Bay, FL
Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
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Palm Bay, FL
Identifcation of four o clock-like flower
I've run across a flower I cannot find any information on. I saw it in West Virginia. I know that a pix might be needed to identify, but, since this is somewhat unusual, I thought possibly you might...
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Fellsmere, FL
Care for non-native, invasive Bauhinia variegata
I live in Fellsmere just south of Melbourne and we have about 5 orchid trees on our property; one is fairly tall, about 20 ft, and the others are about 6 ft tall. My smaller ones have several air p...
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Melbourne, FL
Is the orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) poisonous to dogs?
is the orchid tree (bauhinia) poisonous to dogs?
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Venus, FL
Safety of Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel tree) for parrots
Do you have any information on the possible toxicity of Baccharis halimifolia (Groundsel tree, sea myrtle) most especially the trunks/branches? We have it all over our property, and I'm curious if it...
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Okeechobee, FL
Fast-growing, Horse-safe Pasture Tree for Okeechobee, FL
I'm looking for a fast growing tree to plant in pasture that's safe for horses.
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