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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

Toomsuba, MS
Transplanting a young lilac
This past spring I planted a hybrid lilac in the ground. The weather here has started to get cold, and much more so at night. Also, the temperatures go from warm to cold and back again as if unsure wh...
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Meridian, MS
Non-native Indian Hawthorn leaves yellowing
I live in Mississippi. My Indian Hawthorn's leaves are not as green as they were when I purchased the plant, and several are turning yellow with brown spots on them. What should I do?
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Newton, MS
Plant identification
I need to identify a weed-like plant ~1 ft high with thick stems, wide leaves ending in a single point and bluish-purple tear shaped petals arranged three in a triangle.
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Lacey's Spring, AL
Blooming time in Austin for wildflowers
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants!! I am a wildflower artist coming for my first spring visit to Austin to exhibit in the Artisan's Festival. As a wildflower fanatic, I am hoping to see and photograph some of "...
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Eutaw, AL
Leaves turning yellow on Banana Shrub in Eutaw. AL
We have a very large (about 12' tall), very old (probably planted in the early 1900s) Banana Shrub in our front yard. It was very healthy until last year when its leaves began turning yellow and fal...
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Laurel, MS
Propagation of century plants from "pups"
I have two small century plants...about 10 inches tall...they are "pups" from an older one. one of them has three or four very small roots and the other looks like it was pulled up out of the ground...
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Laurel, MS
Problems with water oaks from Laurel MS
The leaves on my mature water oak trees have been falling since the leaves matured. My area has had an abundance of rain this year, 11 inches above normal. All the trees in my area are doing the same....
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Marion, AL
Plants for slope in central Alabama
Our home is atop a 20-25' eastern facing sandy loam slope in central Alabama. It was previously covered w/ kudzu. After 3 yrs. of eradication of the kudzu we are ready to plant with native grasses/pl...
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Sturgis, MS
Blocking dust from a road in Sturgis MS
Please let me know what Trees/shrubs will help block dust from dirt road.
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Ackerman, MS
Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn...
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Starkville, MS
Native plants for cutting garden in Starkville MS
I would like to know the native plants to put in a cutting garden.
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Starkville, MS
How Do Persimmons Breed - Starkville, MS
Thank you for your earlier response about the genders of native persimmon trees. We have two, a much larger one that has borne fruit for years and years and a smaller one that I'd just assumed was m...
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Starkville, MS
Non-native Moth Mullein as a garden plant from Starksville MS
I collected seeds from a beautiful Moth Mullein growing in a lot which will soon be bulldozed. Would I regret sowing them in the back of a sunny perennial bed this fall. These are from the white-pin...
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Tuscaloosa, AL
Volunteer wax myrtles in Tuscaloosa, AL
I have Wax Myrtles growing in my front yard. I have noticed that some shrubs have sprouted in my back yard that have leaves that are exactly like my wax myrtles. Can Wax Myrtles sprout from seed or h...
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Hattiesburg, MS
Plants for red clay in Hattiesburg, MS
Looking for plants and flowers to plant in red clay?
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Hattiesburg, MS
Source of Dalea greggii seeds
I want to purchase Gregg Dalea seeds. Where can I order them?
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Hattiesburg, MS
Pruning Citrus Suckers
Mr. Smarty Plants, you are the only person that has "not" insisted that the little balls on Satsuma and lemon trees were clumps of bugs. They are surely what you described in the answer to my previo...
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Hattiesburg, MS
Need landscape suggestions for area exposed after last flood on Black Creek in Forrest County. MS
We live on the Black Creek in Mississippi. After the last flood, we now have a steep sandy slope which is unmowable, and incredibly weedy. We want to remove the unsightly weeds- kill if necessary, and...
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Hattiesburg, MS
Fuzzy Citrus Fruit on Satsuma and Lemon Trees
A man asked you about fuzzy little small fruit-like balls that looked like tiny lemons. I have huge numbers of these on both my mature Satsuma and lemon tree this year. I get 100's of really great f...
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Madison, MS
Edibility of peppervine berries from Madison MS
I am following up on a question I've posed to many well experienced foragers and naturalists regarding the pepper vine plant or Ampelopsis arbor. There are many conflicting stories regarding the edib...
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Madison, MS
Non-blooming parsley hawthorn in Madison MS
I have a parsley hawthorn that has never bloomed. It is thriving in a low area under tall pines. It gets filtered sun most of the day with more direct sun in late afternoon. I don't know the age but...
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