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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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Questions From Near You

Sarnia, ON
Plants for a sloped pond bank in SW Ontario
I'm looking for native (Southwestern Ontario, Canada) plants to slow erosion and provide a nice appearance on a mildly steep, 20 foot bank leading to a large pond. The bank faces west. And, are tree...
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Sarnia, ON
Pruning Bittersweet Vine
I am interested in learning how to prune my American bittersweet. The vine has enjoyed it's second summer in my backyard. I would like learn how to prune it, not only for size, but to help keep the...
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Romeo, MI
Deer Damage to Pencil Holly in Michigan
I have 5 sky pencil holly bushes that are about 3 feet tall each..they don't grow very fast. I was looking forward to them reaching the 7 feet mark one day, as they are going to serve as a screen be...
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Harrisso twp., MI
Plants killed by frost
In a frost why do flowers etc. die where grass will not die?
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Mt. Clemens, MI
Care of potted non-native geraniums
I live in lower Michigan (Mt. Clemens) and recently purchased 2 small, potted geraniums. They are a beautiful vibrant red in color. As the blooms wilt and turn dark, should I snip that part off the st...
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Clinton Township, MI
Care for non-native tropical Hibiscus rosa sinensis in Clinton Township MI
Do I have to bring a painted lady hibiscus tree in for the winter? We planted it in the ground and it did great this summer, but I do not know if we have to put it in a pot and bring it in for the wi...
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Clinton Township, MI
Need help with my 25 yr old Mountain Ash in Clinton Township, MI.
For the first time our 25yr old mountain ash tree has dying branches, we removed one branch and it seems to have spread to other branches? What should we do?
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Utica, MI
Insect pest on non-native dwarf apply tree in Utica MI
I have a dwarf apple tree that bears 5-6 different kinds of apples. I am having trouble with insects; what is a good choice for this and feeding it? Is there also a organic choice?
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Fraser, MI
Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
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Saint Claire Shores, MI
Dyes from native North American plants
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
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Rochester, MI
Propagation of Aesculus parvifolia from Rochester MI
Aesculus parvifolia. I purchased one plant in spring 2010---it's about 3 ft tall. How might I propagate from this one plant, or should I buy another?
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Sterling Heights , MI
Survival of non-native windmill palm in Zone 6b
Will a windmill palm survive a Zone 6b Michigan climate; if so would I have to wrap it up in burlap in wintertime?
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Lake Orion, MI
Insects on non-native euonymus in Lake Orion MI
I had a greenlane euonymus that had a few flies last year but was infested with thousands this year. We ripped it out, it was an 8 year old plant. Do you know why they are attracted to it now?
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Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
What will grow under neighbor's overhanging tree in Grosse Pointe Woods MI
My next door neighbor has a beautiful tree that is easily 60 years old and thus not going anywhere. Unfortunately, for me the roots of this tree have extended under a large corner of my back yard. Add...
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Eastpointe, MI
Are non-native hostas causing fly invasion from Eastpointe MI
I live in Michigan with a small backyard. I have 5 large hostas with the purple flower blooms which are located by my patio. I was wondering if they can be causing my large population of unwanted flie...
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Oxford, MI
Deer Resistant Groundcover for lower Michigan
What ground cover is deer resistant for a sunny location in lower Michigan?
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Oxford, MI
Invasive spreading weed in Michigan that looks like a small pine tree
I have an invasive spreading weed in my gardens. It has black root system, comes up looking like a small pine tree. The green breaks off when you try to pull it.
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Oxford, MI
Deer proof ground cover for sunny area in Mississippi
I am looking for a low ground cover that will thrive in a sunny location and is deer proof
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Warren, MI
Yuccas and prickly pears for Warren MI
What type of yuccas and prickly pears will survive in the Detroit, Michigan area? Also, can I grow Santa Rita prickly pear in a pot?
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Warren, MI
Removal of previously-planted perennials
HI I JUST MOVED INTO A NEW HOUSE THIS YEAR THE PREVIOUS OWNERS PLANTED A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL PERENNIALS BUT I WANTED TO PLANT OVER ONE OF THE PERENNIALS THAT I REALLY DO NOT CARE FOR. IS THAT POSSIBLE? I...
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Orion, MI
Cottonwood trees shedding in Orion MI
How long can I plan on my cottonwood trees (wild) shedding long wide cotton strips? This is a first for my trees. Usually it is fluffy small puffs.
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