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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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Questions From Near You

Moreland, GA
Problems with non-native Cleyera in Georgia
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I had a landscaper plant 4 Cleyera around my front porch. I have had them for about 9 years now and they are very hardy, each one being about 4 feet in width, 5 feet high ...
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Newnan, GA
Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia
Our driveway is 1/4 mile in length and is steep on both sides (one side up one side down). It currently has grass that our contractor planted using seed when we built our house. We are unable to cut t...
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Newnan, GA
Non-native, non-invasive Thunbergia alata
I'm trying to find the proper name for Climbing Blackeyed Susan, or Blackeyed Susan Vine. We had one on a trellis and it was beautiful, but I'm told that it is an undesirable weed. Any info apprec...
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Peachtree City, GA
Plants for pool privacy from Peachtree GA
We currently reside in Georgia and have a pool surrounded by a fence. However, because our house is located on a hill, my neighbor on the left side can very easily still see my backyard and we can see...
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Peachtree City, GA
Native shrubs for wildlife santuary in Georgia
We live south of Atlanta, GA and are trying to have our backyard certified as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Can you suggest native shrubs that thrive in partial sun, are habitats for bird and are deer resist...
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Fayetteville, GA
Source of cotton seeds in Georgia
Where can I buy cotton seeds????
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Union City , GA
Problems with non-native weeping willow
The trunk of my Weeping Willow tree has raised donut growths.The left base has decay. There is a large space between the base and the soil (no roots) and the wood is brittle. Large ants with a black ...
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Griffin, GA
Plants for area around salt water pool
What are some plants that will grow around my salt water pool where there is some salt water runoff occasionally.
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Griffin, GA
Are Smilax species toxic?
I have a plant that the agriculture department told me was similax. I have a severe allergic reaction to it, after digging up the roots (potato) and burning them. I had a feeling my lungs inside were ...
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Griffin, GA
Controlling native chickasaw plum
How do we kill the chickasaw plum? We have an abundance and want to get rid of them.
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Griffin, GA
Plant identification from Griffin, GA
We live in Georgia and we found a mystery plant growing next to our garage. It is a short tree with non-waxy, oblong, dark green leaves. The fruit or berries are not clustered and start out green but...
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Forest Park, GA
Pecan tree dropping dead leaves
I have a very old, tall pecan tree in my yard that has been dropping dead leaves for the last three weeks. My back yard looks like it is the Fall season. Do you have any insight on this?
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Forest Park, GA
Non-native Cape Honeysuckle, Tecomaria capensis
I am trying to find general information on the Cape Honeysuckle or "Tecomaria" bush/plant. Is is related to the actual Honeysuckle Plant? What is it's care, propogation, sun tolerance, water requ...
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Shiloh, GA
Recommendations for a 700 ft. noise and privacy barrier in Georgia
Need recommendation for a fast growing, non-invasive native plant for a 700' barrier (noise & privacy) in wooded area; the area is mostly hardwood with some pine, and a good understory is established...
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East Point, GA
Smarty Plants on dogwoods
I am interested in the worldwide distribution of the dogwood family/cornus. Specifically, I am interested in whether or not there are indiginous species on the Indian Subcontinent. Is there a resour...
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Bremen, GA
Vine with edible nut in Chattooga County, Georgia
From an email to this Master Gardener- The lady said when she was young her grandmother had a vine that grew along ground that produced small edible nut. As kids they called them chew-chews. Any idea ...
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Atlanta, GA
Propagation by seed of Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata (heartleaf skullcap)
Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata-- Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! How do I grow this from seed?! I'm trying to propagate for a native plants garden (zone 7B). Thanks for the info! Cheers!
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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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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
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
Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
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