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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

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Cape May Court House , NJ
Will Canada geese eat Asclepias tuberosa from Cape May Court, NJ
Will Canada geese eat my butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)? I know this plant is deer resistant. I really want to plant some on sandy bank near pond in my back yard, but I fear the geese will ...
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Millville, NJ
Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?
Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?
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Lewes, DE
Problems with non-native Miscanthus sinensis grass in Lewes DE
I have morning light ornamental grass, which was just three days ago. The ends of the grass are shriveling up and appear to be dying; why is this?
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Hamilton Twp, NJ
Old oak tree dropping leaves in Hazlet Township NJ
I am 84 yrs old and have a 50 year old pin? oak. No more acorns, but the leaves are falling in clumps and are still alive. Every day I fill a huge garden bag with them. I live on a fixed income and...
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Rehoboth Beach, DE
Survival of non-native Cape Plumbago in Delaware
I have a cape plumbago shrub growing in a large pot outdoors - but we are in Delaware - where it won't apparently survive the winter. How can I keep my plumbago safe over the winter?
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Folsom, NJ
Yucca plant for horse joint problems
is the yucca plant the same as what the joint medication is made of to give to older horses for the joints, and if so, can a plant be nibbled on when it grows in the pasture?
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Dover, DE
Native Plant for Containers in Delaware
I live on the East Coast. I have a large covered porch that only gets some afternoon sun. I have tried full sun, partial sun and shade plants, and had no luck with them thriving. Can you recommend any...
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Dover, DE
Using Pensylvania Sedge in Dover, DE.
Regarding Pennsylvania sedge, I am thinking of planting the sedge along our driveway, which is under trees and not reached by our sprinkler system. Across the driveway, there is lawn. Is it likely tha...
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Ocean View, DE
Perennial native wildflowers in Delaware
I'd like to plant some perennial wildflowers around a fresh water pond near the beach in southern Delaware. Do you have some suggestions for native species that will grow in full sun? Thank you...
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Georgetown, DE
Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
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Millsboro, DE
Crows foot plant for Christmas wreaths from Millsboro DE
I am looking for a plant called crows foot to make wreaths for Christmas. Where do I find this plant.
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Williamstown, NJ
Drought tolerant plants for NJ backyard
I am in the process of planning a drought tolerant, sun loving Back yard. I do have a dog, a swimming pool and lots of grandchildren. Do you have any suggestions for plants and shrubs? I live in South...
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Washington Township, NJ
Low growing erosion control plants for lakeside in Washington Township NJ
I live on a small lake in Northern NJ and have installed beautiful Boulders along the water to help stop erosion. Now I want to add plants along the property but would like low growing, soil retentio...
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Alloway, NJ
Dealing with aphids on milkweed plants in Alloway, NJ.
I planted milk weed for the Monarch butterfly. Every year it gets orange aphids that seem to suck out the juices and eventually kill the plant sooner than I like.
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Alloway, NJ
Digging up and transplanting wild plants in Alloway NJ
I saw some wild growing black eyed susans in a passing field so I dug some up this weekend and planted them in my garden now they look like they are dying. Do you think they will come back next year ?...
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Tuckerton, NJ
Worms on blackeyed susans and daisies in Tuckerton NJ
I have black eyed susans and white daisies planted together. Not sure if this makes a difference. Today I noticed that there are tiny worms on both the plants they are almost the size of silk worms. ...
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Beach Haven, NJ
Color in non-native portulaca from Beach Haven NJ
I bought a portulaca in a hanging basket and divided it up and planted it in my garden. It is doing ok..but I have almost entirely orange flowers..maybe two reds. I was hoping for multi-colored..red...
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Manahawkin, NJ
How to remove plume from Yucca elephantipes in NJ?
In Manahawkin, NJ, how do we cut plume (2" diameter) off 10' Yucca elephantipes?
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Ocean City, MD
Oxalis crassipes identification
I'm trying to identify a plant that has appeared in several containers on my balcony. The largest plant is about a foot tall, with triangular leaves, small white flowers with yellow centers, and has...
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Mickletonn, NJ
Winter preparation for wildflowers
My first attempt at my wild flower garden is successful. I planted a box of perennial seeds, so I don't know what type of plants I actually have. My concern is what to do once the temperature drop...
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Voorhees, NJ
Buds disappearing from magnolia in New Jersey
I live in New Jersey.I planted my 5.gal Vulcan magnolia in December. It came with 4 big buds and 3 small buds.I planted in good location where it gets lots of sun. The tree is well settled and looked ...
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