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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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Mason City, IL
Overwintering Texas bluebonnets
I planted Texas Bluebonnet and I want to know how to save them through the winter months. I think they are so beautiful. Can I cover them with something?
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Pana, IL
Plants for area with occasional standing water in Illinois
..similar to the question posed by the Aurora, Illinois bioswale on 11/30/2009 - I am an architect who designed the reconstruction of a historic structure in Pana, Illinois and have an area that is ap...
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Ashmore, IL
Which plants are resistant to dog urine in Ashmore, IL??
Which native plants are resistant to dogs urinating on them?
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Raymond, IL
Death of mature tulip tree in Raymond IL
We have a mature tulip tree that leafed out and looked very healthy then all of the leaves turned brown and fell off. I think the tree is now dead. We live in the country and have a corn field behind ...
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Litchfield, IL
Plants to prevent erosion in IL
We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
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St. Francisville, IL
Plant identification
My parents have a plant growing that we can not identify. Fast growing to 6 ft in 6 weeks. theleaves look like a fern with little sweet pea looking yellow blooms. The plants leaves fold up at dusk tig...
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Decatur, IL
Installation of a bioswale in Decatur IL
I want to install a bioswale in a 15' wide, 50' long ditch on a relatively steep hill. The ditch already has rip rap in it. Do I need to remove all the rip rap before starting construction, or can...
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Benton, IL
Looking for shrubs to plant in Southern Illinois.
Hi. I am in Southern Illinois. I'm needing small shrubs for a south facing area. It's a 14ft. long by 2ft. wide area. Although it's facing south, it's not real sunny. A huge tree and swing is...
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Owensville, IN
Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
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Troy, IL
Short edging evergreen for IL
I am planning on planting a short (height at maturity less than 1 foot) evergreen (and if possible flowering) shrub to border the walkway to my house. Can you give me some suggestions? The soil is mos...
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Argenta, IL
Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.
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Edwardsville, IL
Oak leaf hydrangeas from Edwardsville IL
Hello, I live in West Central Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) and I am considering planting several Oak leaf Hydrangea's in my yard. The location where I would like to plant them is und...
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Edwardsville, IL
Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
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Edwardsville, IL
Fungus gnats on house plant in Edwardsville IL
I recently purchased a Trailing Perennial Plant, and I am seeing a lot of gnats flying in my house. Could this be the problem?
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Fort Branch, IN
Flowering and evergreen shrubs for landscape in Indiana
I live in Southern Indiana and we are getting ready to redesign our front landscape. Currently, we have some yews and other shrubs that are unruly and require a lot of pruning and care. My husband hat...
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Maroa, IL
Tall lily with dark berry at leaf attachment
A lily showed up in my flower garden last year (central Illinois); about 3' tall, a single dark berry at the stem where each leaf is attached. It didn't flower. This year it's approaching 4' tall ...
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lenzburg, IL
Larvae swimming in water with plant cutting
When you take a cutting from a plant and put it in water and bring it in your home a couple of days later you notice larvae swimming around, what is that?
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Springfield, IL
What is composted mulch from Springfield IL
I love the look of hard wood mulch. It is my understanding that this wood mulch that is so readily available in bulk and bags is not "composted mulch". I have been told that this type of mulch pull...
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Springfield, IL
Failure of fragrance in Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus) in Illinois
I have a sweet shrub bush that I took from the root of another one. Every year it blooms but never has even a smidgen of fragrance. The bush it came from was very fragrant. Should I do something to th...
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Springfield, IL
Can rose Zephirine Drouhin damage brick from Springfield IL
Can ZÉPHIRINE DROUHIN damage brick?
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Springfield, IL
Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen
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