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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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

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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Crystal City, MO
Growing non-native Knockout roses and golden euonymus together from Crystal City MO
Can you plant knock out roses and golden euonymus together?
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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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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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Arnold, MO
Low-maintenance grass for retention pond
I would like to know what would be a low-growing grass to put down for a water retention pond. We have clay and rocky soil. The incline of the sides of the retention pond are about 20 feet with gra...
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House Springs, MO
Wildflowers to grow in dense crownvetch in Missouri
What wildflowers might grow in dense crownvetch?
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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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Eureka, MO
Wildflowers for bees in Missouri
Mr. Smarty Plants, I just became a beekeeper and would like to plant wildflowers that are best for bees. The area to plant is partially shaded with clay soil. Do you have any suggestions?
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Kirkwood, MO
Preparation of site for wildflowers in Missouri
I have 1/2 lb of wildflower seed I would like to plant in the next couple days. the directions say to rid site of all weeds, do you have a suggestion of how to rid my site of thistle? Sow and canadian...
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Saint Louis County, MO
Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
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Saint Louis, MO
Consequences of leaving geranium in dark room
What would happen to a geranium plant that was left to grow in a dark room for many days?
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St. Louis, MO
Small evergreen native shrubs for apartment garden in shade in St. Louis
I live in an apartment in St. Louis, MO, and have a small patch of rocky soil in the stairwell that I would like to plant with a native or natives. The area is entirely shaded, but all the natives I...
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St. Louis, MO
Propagation of redbuds from shoots in St. Louis MO
I have a beautiful, healthy old redbud tree that I love. Every year, I find baby redbud trees rooted all over my yard, Since they are deep, I can't seem to dig them out so I simply cut them down to...
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St. Louis, MO
Transplanting azalea sprouts in St Louis MO
I have an azalea bush that I cut back severely 2 years ago and unwittingly started 3 or 4 new bushes when some limbs grew back along the ground and created their own roots. I'd like to separate them...
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St. Louis, MO
Proposal of marriage to Mr. Smarty Plants
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Will you marry me? Garden bliss hangs in the balance.
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St. Louis, MO
Failure of tall garden phlox buds to open in St. Louis MO
Why won't the buds of my tall garden phlox open? Plants are apparently healthy, no powdery mildew or visible insects, foliage looks great and buds are profuse but they don't open. I have two clumps ...
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St. Louis, MO
Where to find azaleas in St. Louis
Where can I find reasonably priced Azalea shrubs in St. Louis in the red, orange color that are inexpensive? Precise enough? LOL
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Saint Louis, MO
Transplanting a redbud in August from St. Louis MO
I have a 4' tall redbud that needs to be transplanted before the end of August because of construction on our house. Can this be done without killing the tree? Can I take a cutting from the tree and ...
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St. Louis, MO
Disease of eastern red cedars (Juniperus virginiana)
I have multiple Eastern Red Cedars spaced in my woods which are sick and dying. Some were transplanted years ago, others are volunteers, all are less than 4 ft tall. The foliage turns brown in vario...
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St. Louis, MO
A vine to atract hummingbirds in MO
I am looking for a non invasive vine to plant on a trellis near buildings/brick patio to attract hummingbirds (and other birds and butterflies).
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Saint Louis, MO
Identity of bulbs from digging in an anthole
I was digging in an ant hole and it collapsed and as I dug it out, I found around 50 white bulbs that did not have a smell or roots. They resembled onion bulbs. I have a picture of these and they are...
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