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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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Questions From Near You

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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Murphysboro, IL
Plants for narrow strip between sidewalk and fence
I have a strip of land about 5 inches wide and 30 feet long -- between the fence and the sidewalk -- that I would like to plant something that would look nice and wouldn't require the weedeater every...
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Cobden, IL
Tolerance of rosa setigera of acidic soil from Cobden IL
How tolerant is Rosa setigera of acid soil? I would like to plant it in my (very large) garden but the loess soil has a pH of 4.5. Thank you.
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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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Red Bud, IL
Instructions for pictures from Red Bud IL
Mr. Smarty Plants, I followed your instructions on how to submit pictures for you to identify "If you would like to know what the plant is that came up, Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plan...
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Paducah, KY
Need to Stabilize River Bank in Kentucky
My home borders the Ohio River. I have lost a great deal of soil to the river. I am looking for plants with tight root systems that are water tolerant to protect my shoreline. Thanks
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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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Belleville, IL
Plant identification
Can you identify a plant in a shady part of our yard. I have a pictrure I would like to send and I don't see a way to do that here. Can you provide that assistance? Perhaps a direct email address so ...
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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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Bloomsdale, MO
Plant ID from Bloomsdale MO
I have found a plant growing on the side of the road in a weedy area, looks like a poker flower, the plant has Red/orange seed pods growing to a point. no flowers right now. grows on a stem very much...
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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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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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Evansville, IN
Problems with October Glory maple tree in Evansville IN
We have a 15 yr. old October Glory maple tree. 2 years ago we had a bad ice storm and this tree was covered with 1/2 to 3/4 " of ice. The tree resembled a chicken wishbone with its limbs touching ...
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Evansville, IN
Large ash tree with round white spot on bark
I have a large ash tree that seems to be fairly healthy. However, it has a large round white spot (about 18" diameter) on the bark, about 3' up from the base. Within the solid white circle the bark ...
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Evansville, IN
Rhododendrons Hydrangeas in Indiana
I live in very southern Indiana. Our home faces west and at the front of our home I have planted three rhododendrons. The furthest south is growing well the two to the north not so well. All three h...
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Charleston, MO
Will wood shavings in the soil require nitrogen from Charleston MO
I cut down a big maple tree and a lot of the wood shavings was left in the soil. I planted a flower bed over the area this spring. I later read that the wood chips in the soil would use a lot of nitro...
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Grand River, KY
Plants for planting in gourds
I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
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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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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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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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