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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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Avon, IN
Transplanting a magnolia tree in Avon IN
We moved in our house a couple of years ago,We have a small Magnolia tree, well, looks like a bush right in front of our porch. We want to move it but do not know the best time to move. Can you tell m...
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Plainfield, IN
Twisted hibiscus tree in Plainfield, IN
I have just bought 4 twisted hibiscus trees and repotted them immediately then brought them into my screened in porch until I was certain the weather would be safe to keep them outside (I live in Cent...
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Brownsburg, IN
Need help with a 50 ft Tulip Tree with storm damage in Brownsburg, IN.
I have a 50 ft Tulip tree that suffered storm damage. One for the main branches split at the top fork and fell. It has left about 6 ft of exposed wood but there are still a couple of main branches in...
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Mooresville, IN
Identity of and how to get rid of plant in planter in Indiana
We moved to Mooresville Ind. (Brooklyn area) 3 yrs ago. In one of the 12x12 planters out back, these one THINGS keep cutting back and spreading everywhere. They are tall, hollow stem, seems like ther...
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Indianapolis, IN
Is there a vine in Indiana with poisonous thorns?
I was cut at the left big toe by a brownish/red thorny vine while tracking thru dry grass near the bridge exiting 278. I'm from Indianapolis, in 46208. Was wondering if I was exposed to a poisonous v...
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Indianapolis, IN
Is purple grass poisonous if eaten by a dog?
Is purple grass poisonous if eaten by a dog?
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Indianapolis, IN
Floristic Quality Assessment program in Texas?
Do you have knowledge of a Floristic Quality Assessment program for Texas such as the ones used in Indiana and Illinois?
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Indianapolis, IN
Native plants for a bioswale in Indianapolis
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Can you please recommend the types of plants I should use in a bioswale or rain garden in Indiana?
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Indianapolis, IN
Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
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Indianapolis, IN
Drought tolerant plants for IN
What are some plants that would do well in an east facing area near my front door? I live in Indianapolis IN. I need something that is drought resistant and will fill in a 4x3 foot walled off area th...
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Indianapolis, IN
Smarty Plants on Smoke Tree
I live in Indianapolis Indiana and there is this wonderful tree on my street which has the most unusual flowers that I've ever seen. They look like pink and white fiber optics. Spencer gift stores us...
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Indianapolis, IN
Source for invasive, non-native Lythrum in Indiana
Please help me find where I can purchase Lithrum in Indiana. This is my favorite plant from long ago. I know it has been banned for the last few years. Presently you need a permit to sell Lithrum. I ...
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Indianapolis, IN
Monocarpic plants for Indiana
We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
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Indianapolis, IN
Bioswale for Indianapolis
The city of Indianapolis has a very historic Central Canal, which was built in the 1830s. Due to erosion, the parent company of Indianapolis Water, Veolia, has proposed covering the banks with a type ...
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Indianapolis, IN
Identification of
I'm trying to identify a plant and I'm having trouble doing so. The plant was called moss by my mother,but it looks like a succulent. It grows on the ground and looks like small vines with pink stem...
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Indianapolis, IN
Creating a wildflower meadow
I have an area 1-6 acres worth that is currently grass that I would like to overseed with wildflower seed. The local native plant nursery says that would be a waste. I don't really want to kill gra...
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Zionsville, IN
Raingardens in Indiana
I need to have annual native plants to add to a demonstration rain garden to fill in while we wait for the perennial plants to mature. The only plant I can think of is annual phlox. Do you have any ...
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North Salem, IN
Problems with tuliptree in North Salem IN
I have a tulip tree and it looks like it is dying. The limbs are starting to turn bright blue. Do I have an insect problem or is it from a lightning strike?
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Greenwood, IN
Redbud tree propagated from root sprouts in Greenwood IN
Our Red Bud tree broke down to ground level and before we dug up the root several new sprouts have started growing out of it and all around the perimeter(they are approx. 4" high). My question is, c...
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Carmel, IN
Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
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Lebanon, IN
Toxicity of non-native Royal Empress tree
We want to plant some fast-growing trees for shade for my horses. My friend wants to use Royal Empress trees. Can you tell me if these are toxic to horses (and also goats)? I have a lot of clay in t...
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