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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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Questions From Near You

Elyria, OH
Growing non-native bay leaf plant from Elyria OH
I was wondering if the bay leaf plant is native and how hard it is to grow? I am so tired of buying expensive bay leaf in the store and want to do it myself.
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Vermilion, OH
Host plants for American Painted Lady larvae in Ohio
Need to know what plants to plant as host plants for American Painted lady butterflies have larve coming in mail in few days , live in Vermilion Ohio on the Lake Erie. Thank You for your knowledge Pa...
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Rocky River, OH
Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
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Parma Hts, OH
Seedlings from established plants in Parma Hts., OH
I have 20 yr old shrubs and hedges along my back yard. I don't know their variety. How do I keep the seedlings from encroaching in my lawn? The seedlings have sprouted 3 feet into the lawn. Any ide...
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Lakewood, OH
Precautions to take with Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
Are there precautions to take, such as wearing gloves while separating the seeds from the Jack In The Pulpit berries. The photos I have seen have gloved hands. I've read that the plant is toxic if in...
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Lakewood, OH
Native Backyard for Lakewood OH
I would like to do away with the lawn in my backyard in favor of native plants that would require minimal maintenance, including flowering plants that would encourage pollinators.
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Lakewood , OH
Texas smoketree
Does a smoketree grow in Texas? How can I identify it?
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Parma, OH
Eradication of invasive thistles in Parma OH
Lawn is full of prickly weeds with very deep roots. May be called Scotch Thistle, although id is not confirmed. They will grow as tall as they can amid other plants, and when mowed in the lawn, they...
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Medina, OH
Hybrid Campsis radicans 'Madame Rosy' from Medina OH
I have a Madame Rosy Campsis that is not blooming. We purchased and planted it last year, mid-summer and it did well for the remainder of the season but this year...nothing but green leaves........wh...
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Medina, OH
Browning of Red Western cedars in Medina, OH
I have a row of Red Western Cedars bordering my yard. One week after my lawn people but down spring fertilizer and grub control, they began turning brown. Is there any correlation? If not, what cau...
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Medina, OH
Propagating American Beautyberry in Medina OH
I brought home a small branch of American beautyberries when I was vacationing in N. Carolina. How do I go about planting them and will they survive in the Cleveland area?
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medina, OH
Identity of a plant in Ohio
Trying to identify a tree/shrub in Ohio. It grows from 6-8', and blooms through the summer. It has small green glossy leaves, and bell/trumpet shaped flowers in pink, white, or yellow with stripes. T...
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Cleveland, OH
First wildflower to bloom in Madison Ohio
What is the first wildflower to bloom in spring in Madison, Ohio 44057. Is it the snowdrop?
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Cleveland, OH
Identification of Matelea reticulata
I recently saw blooming in an Austin park a small white-green flower ( 3/4 ") with a center that looked like a small pearl. Any idea what it is. I can't find it in my flower book, It was on a waist...
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Cleveland, OH
More on bluebonnets
Can you grow Texas bluebonnets in Madison, OH which is right near Lake Erie?
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Cleveland, OH
Plant identification of vine in Ohio
I have a vine in my forest that grows up trees, that could eventually pull them over. It has roundleaves and prickers on the stem. What is this vine so I can research it?
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Cleveland, OH
Information on herbs for Northeast Ohio
Hello there, I am writing you seeking some information on Northeast Ohio's native plants. This has been rather difficult to find—specific native plants that can be used as herbs. If you could h...
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Cleveland, OH
Tree planting in OH
When transplanting a tree (a maple in Spring in my case now), I understand that one should leave a surrounding doughnut like ridge around the root base to hold in the water from rains and irrigation. ...
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Cleveland, OH
Wildflower seeds that drop into a sidewalk crack
This is an odd question. I'm writing a children's book about a seed that gets dropped in the crack of a sidewalk or driveway and blooms there. Can you tell me if there are any wildflowers that it ...
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Cleveland, OH
What is the name of a green plantin Ohio with white flowers that kind of look like broccoli?
Last summer I saw a plant that had very full, very light green almost white flowers that kind of looked like broccoli. Do you know the name of this plant?
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Cleveland, OH
Texas Mountain Laurel in Florida
Hi Mr. Smarty, This is more a comment than a question about Barbara Medford's (Estero, FL) question of whether you can grow Texas Mountain Laurel in Ft. Myers, FL. About 4 yrs. ago, I purchased a ...
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