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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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La Luz, NM
Identification of grasses for grazing from La Luz NM
I live in southern New Mexico. I have pictures of a few types of grass that I can't find anyone to help me identify with a name for livestock food. Can you help me with it? If so I can send the pi...
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Mescalero, NM
Epiphyte growing on oak trees in Wildflower Center
Thank you for your response to my question on what is the epiphyte growing on oak trees. I should have been more specific to say " the epiphyte growing on the oak trees around Lady Bird Johnson wi...
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Mescalero, NM
Ball moss (Tallandsia recurvata), epiphyte on oaks at Wildflower Center
I visited your center a couple weeks ago, was very impressed with the educational aspects. I noticed the epiphyte commonly growing in the oak trees, and also on the elm oak. Do you have the name of t...
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Mescalero, NM
Name of epiphyte growing on oak trees
Please tell me what the epiphyte growing on the oak trees is.
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Las Cruces, NM
Smarty Plants on Texas Madrone
Hello, where can one acquire the Texas Madrone for planting? Thank you.
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Las Cruces, NM
Yellowing leaves on non-native globe willow in Las Cruces, NM
I live in Las Cruces, NM. I have a good size globe willow tree. The leaves are turning yellow and brown dryness at tips and leaves are falling off. Does it just need water?
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Las Cruces, NM
Which native palms survived severe cold from Las Cruces NM
Can you tell me which of the north American native palms survived the severe cold last year that hit El Paso and Las Cruces?
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Las Cruces, NM
Are globe mallows (Sphaeralcea spp.) harmful to dogs
My dogs eat the wild globe mallow plants in my yard. Could that be harmful to them?
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LAS CRUCES, NM
Need a shade tree for an enclosed courtyard in Las Cruces, NM
I HAVE A WEST FACING COURTYARD ENCLOSED WITH A 6' STUCCO WALL AND I WANT TO ADD A SHADE TREE. CURRENTLY HAVE SEVERAL MESQUITE TREES, DESERT WILLOW, CHINESE PISTACHE & VITEX TREES IN THE FRONT AREA ...
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Las Cruces, NM
Plant identification
I have a photo of a shrubby plant with large spines. Is there a way for me to attach it? I'm having trouble identifying it. Thanks!
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Las Cruces, NM
Trees for a new home in Las Cruces, NM
I've just purchased a brand new home in a sub-division in Las Cruces, NM and I'm looking for some landscaping advice. I come from upper-central Illinois, so I'm used to having trees pretty much al...
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Las Cruces, NM
Evergreen plants for a windbreak
Our church has need to plant a windbreak. We would like fast growing native plants, preferably evergreen or really early 'leafers' to protect us from our windy season beginning in mid/late February....
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Las Cruces, NM
Can bougainvillea be grown in Las Cruces, NM?
Can bougainvillea be grown in Las Cruces, NM?
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Elephant Butte, NM
Care of desert willows
We have three desert willows. Two are doing well, but the third, which was planted at the same time as the others, is about 1/3 the size of the other two, the foliage is thin, and the leaves have dry...
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El Paso, TX
Time of year to plant Texas Mountain Laurel in El Paso, TX
When is the best time of year to plant a Mountain Laurel tree in El Paso?
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Roswell, NM
Texas Redbud Suddenly Died in NM
We had a Texas redbud, approximately 5 1/2 years old. It had been doing great then all of a sudden after it bloomed this spring, the leaves appeared but then shriveled right away. We noticed the trunk...
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Roswell, NM
Dumb question about prickly pear
This is probably a really dumb question but I am interested in picking the prickly pear next year when it is in season, and was wondering the best way to get all of the little stickers off of the pear...
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Roswell, NM
Will wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) grow in Roswell NM?
We live in Roswell, NM. Will a wax myrtle tree live in our climate and soil?
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Artesia, NM
Plant identification
I have a single stalked plant that has leaves with 5 lobes. Each lobe is also lobed. The leaves are dark green, staggered on the stalk opposite each other. Do you have any ideas what this is?
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El Paso, TX
Transplanting Desert willows in El Paso, TX
We have some volunteer Desert Willows growing on an empty lot nearby. Can we dig them up and transplant them in the yard? If so, how? They are about 3-4 feet tall
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El Paso, TX
Shade tree for El Paso, Texas
hi there, I am looking to plant a shade tree in front of my house, about 10ft away from my house and about 6ft away from the sidewalk. I live in El Paso TX and I am afraid that the tree roots will int...
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