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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

Tucker, GA
Native grasses for Georgia
I am new to Georgia by way of Colorado and would like to plant a drought resistant, tough grass/sod alternative in my backyard. Would buffalo / grama grass do ok in this climate? My backyard doesn’t...
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Stone Mountain, GA
Why aren't my Forsythias blooming in Stone Mountain, GA?
We have a large forsythia stand that has bloomed beautifully for 14 years in a row. Two summers ago I cut them way back in July. For the past two years they have only leafed out, no, or very few bloom...
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Lilburn, GA
Can non-native red-tip photinia be burned in fireplace from Lilburn GA?
Can I burn red tip photinia in my fireplace?
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Norcross, GA
Native plants for full sun in Gwinnett County, Georgia
I'm writing to you from Gwinnett County Parks and Rec. at the Pinckneyville Community Center in Norcross, GA. We are looking to plant our garden and are wondering if you have any suggestions for min...
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Norcross, GA
Dwarf evergreen heath plant from Norcross GA
I was reading a book that mentioned a "dwarf evergreen heath plant and wondered if such a plant exist. It is suppose to have leathery leave blooms with white flowers that produce red berries used fo...
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Decatur, GA
Invasiveness of Cosmos from Decatur GA
I have been searching for an answer concerning the invasive plant Cosmos. I know that Florida declares this but I have not been able to find out does Georgia? And specifically,is it only the yellow Co...
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Decatur, GA
Vines for shade in North-Central Georgia
I am looking for something to hide a 6' wood fence that will grow in almost full shade. I have an area approx 2 feet wide to plant in. Since the fence and planting areas are stepped -- about 8 feet f...
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Decatur, GA
Evergreen, flowering hedge shrub for GA.
Hi, there! I am looking for a shrub for planting as a hedge in Decatur, GA. I have hard acidic clay and I would like an evergreen flowering shrub to line the edges of my backyard to separate it from...
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Decatur, GA
Plants for a condo garden in Decatur GA
I recently moved into a condo in Decatur (just outside Atlanta). I am now working on the back yard - just a patio and dirt right now. It is a small space and is shaded much of the day but does get s...
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Decatur, GA
Plant Identification from Decatur GA
Hi: In early May 2012 we visited the Center--fantastic. There was a large shrub/tree with yellow blooms near a silo. Is it Retama? Also there was a lot of a purple blooming plant in with the conef...
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Dulutj, GA
Growing Giant Pumpkins in Georgia
I have tried to grow giant pumpkins in the Atlanta, GA area. Each year I lose several strong plants to vine borers. I have tried tin foil wrapped around the stems, and I even painted the stems with Se...
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Duluth, GA
New plant introductions in Georgia.
Can you list 5-10 brand new plants to the marketplace this 2009-2010 season for my area in GA? Thank you.
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Duluth, GA
Replacing grass on steep hill in Georgia
I live near Atlanta, Georgia. My yard is a steep hill, which makes mowing VERY challenging. If possible, I would like to remove the grass and plant something hardy that does not require mowing. What p...
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Snellville, GA
Growth of non-native bermudagrass in Snelville GA
How do you grow Bermuda grass successfully in the state of Georgia? Techniques in fertilization, lawn cutting and general maintenance. Thank you.
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Snellville, GA
Can I grow Texas bluebonnets in Georgia?
Being a native Texan, my mom loves bluebonnets. We live in Georgia, however so I am wondering if I planted some bluebonnets in her yard would they grow? What are the best conditions for bluebonnets ...
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Atlanta, GA
Help with plant identification.
We need help identifying a perennial in our backyard, which we assume is a native/wildflower, but might not be. It has yellow flowers with 5/6 petals (delicatea, starlike/about 1-1.5 inches across) a...
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Atlanta, GA
Ground cover for shade from Atlanta GA
I am looking for recommendations for a ground cover. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have a large shady slope on which I would like to use low maintenance/water native ground cover. What wou...
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Atlanta, GA
Pill bugs in potted plants in Atlanta GA
Hello, I repotted four aloe vera plants two days ago with a cacti soil and watered them thoroughly in terra cotta pots according to directions on the bag. Well the next morning the pots had pill bug...
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Atlanta, GA
Tall trees for privacy screen in St. Augustine FL
Please let me know what kind of evergreen tall trees I can plant for privacy in my back yard in the st. Augustine, Florida area. Thanks for your assistance.
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Atlanta, GA
Smarty Plants on vitex
I recently purchased a vitex tree and I don't know anything about it other that it blooms. Can you tell me everything there is about this tree?
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Atlanta, GA
Non-invasive sun ground cover for Atlanta GA
I would like to find a non-invasive ground cover for zone 7 (Atlanta, GA) in full sun. I had a bed of ivy with daylilies on a slight slope. I have pulled up the ivy but want something that is not as i...
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