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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members 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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Smarty Plants Question Topics

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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topicquestion
Are Castor Bean Leaves Toxic to Pets?
September 13, 2014
I understand that the beans of the castor plant on lethal if chewed on. Are the leaves that toxic? I would love to plant this plant and not let it flower, but I do have visiting grandchildren and dog...
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Fuzzy Citrus Fruit on Satsuma and Lemon Trees
September 13, 2014
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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Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014
Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
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Aggressive Plants in Pleasant Valley NY
September 01, 2014
Are there any native plants that can out compete Japanese knotweed?
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Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014
We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
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Shasta Daisies without Petals
August 21, 2014
My shasta daisies do not have the white petals, only the yellow center is in bloom. There are no visible signs of insects. They get a good amount of sun - about 5 hours per day. What could be the prob...
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Sages in Catasauqua, PA
August 08, 2014
I want to buy a Texas Sage tree but I live in PA. Can I bring the tree indoors during winter?
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Tall plant with bell-shaped upside-down white flowers
July 18, 2014
2 tall plants grew outside my suburban New York house in June, blossomed late June. They looked like giant asparagus stalks, and the flowers were white, bell shaped, upside down, look like fairy skirt...
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Starting Yarrow (Achillea) and Daucus from Seed
July 16, 2014
I need to deadhead my cottage yarrow. I assume it has gone to seed. What do I do to plant it as seed? If I can do it, can I do it now or do I need to wait until spring. If I need to wait until spring,...
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Japanese Wineberry in Maryland
July 16, 2014
Hello, we were at Cunningham Falls in Maryland and I can not identify this plant. If you could I would greatly appreciate it, thank you. It looks like a raspberry but the berries are inside small leav...
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