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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Detroit, MI
Do Banana Plants Grow in Galveston, Texas?
Do banana plants grow on Galveston island?
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Detroit, MI
What can be planted under a pine tree in Detroit, MI?
What type of plant would you suggest I plant under my big (Blue bruce) pine tree? It's about 25 ft high and the branches are trimmed to about 4 feet up, so it does get some light but mostly shade.I a...
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Detroit, MI
Evergreen shrubs for Michigan
I'm seeking a small-medium, ornamental, fairly compact, evergreen shrub to complement my front yard woodland wildflower garden. I want a shrub that will flank both sides of my front porch steps. I wa...
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Detroit, MI
Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are ...
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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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Lathrup Village, MI
Identity of Hercules Club from Lathrup Village MI
Thought the shrub was Hercules Club but when looked at photo on line, totally different leaf. Mine has palmate leaf rounded at the tips, spines that are short but substantial. Branches arch somewhat a...
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Bloomfield Hills, MI
Fall flowering purple shrub for Bloomfield Hills MI
Need a fall flowering shrub for my temperature zone, preferably purple.
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Bloomfield Hills, MI
Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
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Ann Arbor/Bloomfield Hills, MI
Plant identification
I was walking in the woods, near Dresden Michigan yesterday, in a deer friendly area, where we came upon a grouping of large, umbrella leaved plants, seemed to be interconnected and only one foot high...
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Dearborn, MI
Planting onions in Michigan
Hello, I live in Mi in zone 5. Can I plant green onions now (7/30/09)? And will they have enough time to have for an October-ish harvast? Thanks
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