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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

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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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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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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Venice, FL
Selective herbicide for non-native bermudagrass from Venice FL
Is there a selective herbicide that can be used for grasses like Floratam and Bermuda along with various weeds that will not damage Wedelia?
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Venice, FL
Trimming non-native plants
What time of year is best to trim my Alamanda cathartica, and also my Plumbago auriculata? Thanks
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Venice, FL
Distance from existing structures for live oak
How close to your house slab, driveway and footpaths should you plant live oaks so as to avoid in the future damage from roots, falling branches, etc?
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Nokomis, FL
Can Carolina wild petunia be planted over septic tank in Nokomis FL
Could you tell me the root depth of the Ruellia caroliniensis/ Carolina wild petunia? Trying to determine if I can plant it over septic tank.
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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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Sarasota, FL
Tilo (Justicia pectoralis), a tropical American plant
Re: keelo plant (Seminole, Fl. herb used to treat stomachache-St. Pete), try Tilo: Justicia pectoralis
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Sarasota, FL
Plant identification from Sarasota, FL.
Hi I recently went to Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida and saw a purple flowering tree/shrub that had branches similar to okra shape or starfruit shape, the leaves were very grainy similar to alligat...
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Sarasota, FL
Fertilization of recently-transplanted yucca
I planted a soft tip yucca a week ago, the spineless type. I was doing a landscaping job, it was dug up, left for a week without any dirt around the roots, and when the customer did not want it, I pl...
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Sarasota, FL
Replanting of non-native Christmas Palm from Sarasota FL
Do you know of a proven technique to plant a Christmas Palm in a built-in concrete pool deck planter box - using gravel around the soil root ball to delay the root bound condition we just ripped out?
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Sarasota, FL
Florida law on removing orange trees
I live in a co-op mobile home park with a board of directors that tell me that if I have to cut down my orange tree that Florida law says that I have to replace it with another orange tree. I say that...
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Sarasota, FL
Transplanting non-native bougainvillea in Florida
Hi, My neighbor has two established bougainvillea that he is giving me..I just have to dig them up and not kill them..what is the best way to dig up and transplant them?
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Sarasota, FL
Non-monoculture turf grass for Florida from Sarasota FL
I am looking for a non-monoculture turf grass suitable for the Florida climate. Will Habiturf work, or perhaps you have some other suggestions? Please advise.
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Sarasota, FL
Plant identification for shrub in Florida
On our street we have ornamental shrub planted in the median that has small waxy green leaves, produces small fragrant white flowers, and red berries with white pulp and small seeds on the inside. Th...
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Sarasota, FL
Tradescantia as a water plant
I have a spiderwort plant, and when I found it at the nursery, it was in water by the pond plants, (I had no idea what kind of plant it was at the time) So I bought it, took it home, and repotted it w...
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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
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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