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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.

Questions From Near You

Dammeron Valley, UT
Plants that are deer resistant for high desert climate in Utah
We are building in a high desert climate in Dammeron Valley, Utah. We want plants that are both deer resistant and require little watering. Can you advise which plants (shrubs, flowers, cacti) that ...
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Enoch, UT
Blossoms but no fruit for gooseberries in Enoch UT
My gooseberries always get loads of blossoms, but I never get fruit. I think they need more sun, and thus, want to transplant them to a sunnier location. What (and when) is the best way to do this?
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Antimony, UT
Erosion blanket question from Antimony UT
I want to use an erosion control blanket for a hill and want to know what type I should purchase that would allow planting seeds and them growing up through the blanket
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North Las Vegas, NV
Plants for privacy hedge in North Las Vegas
My lot is in North Las Vegas. Looking to plant something that will be a privacy hedge. Full sun with horrible soil. Local nursery suggested the following: Green Cloud and Gray Cloud Texas Sage, Feat...
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Boulder City, NV
Leaf problems on Cherry Laurel in Boulder City, NV
I live in Boulder City, Nevada and have 4 cherry laurel trees. I'm having a hard time with brown leaves and loss of leaves. How much water should I give them each season? Temps run from 28 degrees to...
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toronto, NV
Smarty Plants on cell elongation
Why do plants grow faster in the dark?
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Henderson, NV
Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite. Do you have suggestio...
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henderson, NV
Less Maintenance Plant Suggestions for New Raised Bed in Henderson, NV.
We have a newly constructed raised garden bed. I was wondering what kind of plants would be appropriate to plant this springtime in Henderson, NV with less maintenance because I work full time.
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Henderson, NV
Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
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Henderson, NV
More on bluebonnets
When (month and week) do you think the "peak of bluebonnet blooming" will be this year in the Austin, Fredericksbug, and Llano, Texas area?
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Henderson, NV
Where can I find Opuntia santa-rita?
Dear Mr. Plants - I'm trying to locate a type of opuntia violacea-santa rita. (Purple prickly pear) Instead of the normal pads, this cactus has rippled pads that almost look like a type of coral. It...
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Henderson, NV
How to Prune a Mountain Laurel to make it more tree like in Hendersen, NV
How do I prune a Texas Mountain Laurel into a tree? Just bought a 15 gal. with two trunks above the crown. Was told that multiple trunks are their natural growth, which is OK. But all research call...
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Henderson, NV
Plants For Sale
I have to move out of my home to take care of my mother. I have various plants in the small yard (6 mo old). If I dig them up and pot them, is there someone who will buy them? Thanks,Pat
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Las Vegas, NV
Shade, Heat, Drought and Acidic Soil Tolerant Perennials for Las Vegas?
What can I grow under my pine trees that is shade and heat (and acidity) tolerant? I live in Las Vegas, NV and would like perennials to plant under my pine trees.
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Las Vegas, NV
Identifcation of fragrant, white camellia-like flower
My friend describes a beautiful, unusual smelling flower. It was a white camellia-like bloom, but was not a camellia. It was flowering in June or July in the Alabama and Mississippi region. It had ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Arizona ash tree with brown leaf tips in Las Vegas NV
We've had an Arizona Ash Tree in our yard for over 7 years it was doing fine until last summer, the tree seems to be struggling with the heat, its leaves look like they are burning up and turning bro...
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Las Vegas, NV
Yellowing leaves of Texas Sage (Cenizo) from Las Vegas NV
Leaves of Texas Sage are turning yellow. Can you tell me why?
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Las Vegas, NV
Vine for full sun in Las Vegas NV
Looking for vine to thrive in full sun in Las Vegas, NV. I tried Cape Honeysuckle and Star Jasmine and both died within 5 days. The leaves were burnt. What's your suggestion? Thank you.
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Las Vegas, NV
Proper deadheading of non-natives Arabian Jasmine and Crape myrtle from Las Vegas
Advise please on proper deadheading of Arabian Jasmine, and of Crape Myrtle. They are both blooming great but I want to know once the petals fall should I deadhead and will it help them to bloom agai...
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Las Vegas, NV
What kind of turf can be planted in Baja Mexico from Las Vegas NV
What kind of turf can be planted in Baja. Mexico
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Las Vegas, NV
Decorative small evergreen tree for Las Vegas NV
I need a small decorative tree to be planted among a pine tree background; would prefer evergreen.
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