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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

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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

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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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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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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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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Port Charlotte, FL
Will desert rose (Rosa stellata) survive in south Florida
I have a mature desert rose and I wanted to plant it in the ground. I live in southwest Florida.I want to know will it survive and should I wait to plant it next year?
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Punta Gorda, FL
Problems with non-native ixora in Punta Gorda, FL
We are having problems with our Ixora plants. The leaves turn yellow, then fall down.
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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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North Port, FL
Need to know if coral honeysuckle is toxic to dogs in North Port, FL.
Could you please tell me if coral honeysuckle is toxic to dogs. I would like to plant it in my backyard, but do not plant anything that would be toxic to my dog if she decided to chew on it. Thank y...
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North Port, FL
Groundcovers for Sarasota County, Florida
I would like to replace the grass in my yard with native or any other appropriate ground cover. I live in North Port, Sarasota County Florida. I would be grateful for any suggestions. Thank you in ad...
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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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Cape Coral, FL
Tropical plants for a pool-side planter in Cape Coral FL
I live in Southwest Florida and have a pool inside a cage with a pool planter built into the deck around part of the pool. What kind of tropical plants can I put in the planter that are not root inva...
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Cape Coral, FL
Plants resistant to salt spray in FL
What type of plants can I put in a small planter bed next to a waterfall with a saltwater pool? Everything I put in there dies. I live in Southwest Florida.
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Cape Coral, FL
Shaded Groundcover for Florida
Looking for ground cover for shade. Area is between two houses. Something with minimal amount of work and care.
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Cape cORAL, FL
Smarty Plants on Science Fair projects
I would like to know what kind of plants can grow in two weeks? Please answer quickly so I can do my Science Fair project.
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Cape Coral, FL
Identification of lantanas safe for use in Florida
Why do you list lantana camara as a native to the U.S. and as a native plant in Florida? It is a category one invasive exotic on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's list of invasive exotics. La...
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Port St Lucie, FL
Plant barrier to block view and noise of Florida Turnpike
I live in Port St Lucie FL and my development backs to Florida turnpike. We want to plant to block noise and view. Any suggestions? thank you
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Port St Lucie, FL
Propagation of Cordyline fruticosa from Port St. Lucie FL
Hawaiian Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) I found 4 of these cut without roots. What is the best way to have them grow roots? Directly in water, moist soil, or regular soil...
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Port Saint Lucie, FL
Identification of small tree in Florida
I live in Port Saint Lucie, FL. We have a few trees (?) growing in our yard I would like to i.d. They seem to grow quickly have smooth leaves that grow opposite one another and the underside of the ...
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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
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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