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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

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

Crestwood, KY
Stabilizing a steep slope in KY
We are building a new home and have a very steep hill behind the home. Our highlift operator just cleared it off - I would say about 15 to 20 feet in height and at least 150 feet in length. What wou...
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Crestwood, KY
Why do some plants resprout in Spring from Crestwood KY
I am a 5th grade student at Crestwood Elementary School; and one of my classmates came up with an excellent question that I can not answer. Here it is: Why do some plants (like bulbs) resprout in ...
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LaGrange, KY
Wintering over an Angel Trumpet in Kentucky
I have an Angel Trumpet on my deck in LaGrange,Ky -Can I plant it out in the yard now or do I have to take it in the house for the winter- It is 5 feet tall and I have no room in the house! Help!-Than...
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Charlestown, IN
Identification of worm feeding on chockecheery
I am looking to find out what sort of worm looking insect, is commonly found on chokecherry trees. It has a turquoise appearance with yellow fingerlike projections on the back. It suctions onto the ...
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Jeffersonville, IN
Flowering shrub for Jeffersonville, IN
I live in Southern Indiana and am wanting to change some of my landscaping. I have 2 fairly large double pink (?) knock out bushes and another lighter shade of pink knock out bush. I am looking for ...
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Eminence, KY
Identity of plant in Kentucky with fuzzy grayish-green leaves
I would like to know about a plant that I do not know what it is. I had this plant just come up in my flowerbed, that looked like a tobacco plant but the leaves looked like a lambs ear plant. It was ...
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Louisville, KY
Is Viburnum dentatum (Chicago Lustre) toxic to horses
Are Chicago Lustre Viburnum -- Viburnum Dentatum -- toxic to horses?
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Louisville, KY
Turf grass for part-time home from Louisville KY
We have a small yard at a remote location with cistern water, and need a turf grass for a yard, clay soil, which I am willing to amend. It will receive sporadic attention as my husband and I do not l...
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Louisville, KY
Care for non-native Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon)
I am moving into a new home and have been told that the two plants in my front yard are called Hearts of Sharon. I need to know how to care for them and when and how to prune them so that they dont gr...
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Louisville, KY
Blue vervain native to Indiana
I have a species I need to know if it is native to my area (southern Indiana) - Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
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Louisville, KY
Shade tolerant evergreens for privacy shield in Louisville KY
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Our property is adjacent to the highway for ~ 200ft. I'm looking for partial-to-full shade tolerant evergreens that will grow to be relatively tall. Our soil is clay and g...
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Louisville, KY
plant identification
I don't know if this plant is native, but it is a volunteer. It is a spiny , cane producing bramble . It produces tight clusters of inconspicuous fluffy reddish pink flowers about a centimeter acros...
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Louisville, KY
Problems with non-native Callery Pear tree from Louisville KY
I have a Cleveland select that has a bark issue. It is on its second season and I just saw this. It looks like the bark is bubbling up kinda and then wants to peel off the main trunk. I have a picture...
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Louisville, KY
Evergreen plants safe for horses in Louisville, Kentucky
I have a horse farm in Louisville, Ky. I want to plant evergreen plants along the walls in front of the horse barns. What types of plants are not toxic to horses can I use? Thank you so much for all y...
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Louisville, KY
Plants for butterflies and hummingbirds in Louisville, KY
Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Louisville KY. I have a waterfall and ponds connected by a small stream. I want to plant several plants around my waterfall- approx. 20 sq ft on both sides of waterfall....
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Louisville, KY
Seed source for Carex texensis from Louisville KY
Your reply to my question re a grass for my Kentucky home with cistern only water available was much appreciated, Carex texensis was recommended. I am unable to find this product for sale other than ...
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Louisville, KY
Identification of a flower with grape kool aid fragrance
While I lived in Texas someone gave me a flower from a "tree" (i am not sure tree is the right word). It was a large white flower that closed up in the evenings and smelled sweet like grape kool ai...
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Louisville, KY
Will lead accumulate in the flower nectar of plants used for phytoremediation
I'm attempting to phytoremediate lead in my garden with mustard and/or sunflowers. I also keep bees. I understand that lead is sequestered in roots and stalks. Would the nectar also be contaminate...
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Louisville, KY
Looking for a source for milkweed plants in Goshen, KY.
I live in Louisville(actually Jeffersontown), KY and would love to find some milkweed plants for the butterflies. I have not had any luck with seeds so I am looking for actual plants. Do you have an...
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Louisville, KY
Plant identification of fern-like tree in Tennessee/North Carolina
Was on my way to Hilton Head and noticed near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, there was a tree standing about 4 feet tall. Thin straight trunk and at the very top was fern looking foliage...
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Fairdale, KY
Comment on Doug Shermans photography
This is actually not a question. I just wanted to comment on Doug Sherman's photographs. I am working on a native garden presentation and his pictures are amazing. I love the way he captures the f...
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