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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

St. Charles, MO
Looking for pink star grass (Rhodohypoxis milloides)
I am looking for a wildflower/plant called Pink Star Grass (common name). I am not sure what the proper name is. Can you help me with this? I would like information on it, and also would like to pu...
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St. Charles, MO
Yellowing foliage on a lemon cypress from St. Charles MO
I recently received a lemon cypress tree as a gift. After about a month we transplanted it outside and the foliage turned from a light green to a yellow color. Is this normal? The tree doesn't app...
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Saint Charles, MO
Promoting bloom in Chocolate Summer Mimosa
Please help! I purchased a Chocolate Summer Mimosa from one of our local nurseries. It was a brand new plant to them and they don't really know much about them. I planted it just 3 years ago as an...
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St Louis, MO
Toxicity of barren strawberries
Are barren strawberries toxic? .
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Florissant, MO
Germination of Passiflora incarnata seeds
I wish to purchase the Passionflower incarnata plants. I have found seeds, but they say they are very hard to start. I lost my very large vine and wish to replace it.
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Florissant, MO
Shelf life of hawthorn leaves in Florissant, MO
I have a bag of hawthorn leaves that were harvested in 2007. Do you know if they're still effective? How long is the shelf life of hawthorn leaves? Thank you for your assistance.
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Chesterfield, MO
Pruning of Burning Bush in Missouri
I live in MO and am pretty sure I have burning bushes on either side of my deck. My question is that they are huge and overgrown but I feel if I cut them lower and shape the sides up I will be left w...
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O'Fallon, MO
Earliest spring wildflowers from O'Fallon Mo.
Which spring wildflower blooms first around the St. Louis area?
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O Fallon, MO
The effect of plant growth regulators (PGRs) on tall grass species
I have a question about some established native grass areas that we have on our golf course in eastern Missouri. For the past eight or nine years we have been working hard to transition these areas f...
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Ballwin, MO
Flowering native perennials for St. Louis
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to landscape a yard that sits on rocky clay soil in St. Louis, MO. The front yard has been difficult because of its brutal southern exposure - the afternoon sun ...
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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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Alton, IL
Trees and other plants for privacy along lake shoreline
We are purchasing a new home that has a 2 acre lake. We would like to add some plants/trees for privacy around the shore line. Can you suggest something that would fill in nicely and is strong enoug...
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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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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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