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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

Camden, AR
Plant identification
I have a green plant given in memory of my mom, and I have no idea what it is. It has rounded smooth leaves, green on front, purple on back. Inside each leaf is the impression of another leaf then an...
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Stamps, AR
Eliminating a briar vine in American holly
I have a wild vine (I was told it is a type of briar) living on my place. The root nest is like a potato. I have dug them up, I have sprayed them and I still am plagued with them. I have a beautiful A...
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Homer, LA
Non-native crapemyrtles changing color in Homer LA
I have six natchez crape myrtles, 2 1/2 years old now. This year, one of them has started blooming in a lavender color. Have you ever heard of this?
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Bismarck, AR
Period to maturity of gooseberries in Bismarck AR
How long does it take to produce gooseberries after planting?
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Hot Springs, AR
Sowing additional wildflower and grass seeds on steep hillside
Mr. Smarty, we recently moved to Hot Springs, AR. We have about a 1000 sf hillside area too steep to plant with shrubs etc. We had wildflower seeds scattered last May in this area and the flowers we...
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Plain Dealing, LA
Evergreen plant to cover parents' graves in Louisiana
We want to plant ground cover on our parents graves in Plain Dealing Cemetery in north Bossier Parish LA. Soil is red clay/dirt. Want native plant, slow growing, short not tall plant, that might sta...
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Texarkana, AR
Plants for Daisy Girl Scout native plants project
Hello, I am a daisy Girl Scout leader and we are working on one of our Journeys and Native Plants Patch Program which requires our group of 5-6 year old girls to plant and care for a mini-garden. ...
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Texarkana, AR
Need Native Plants for Ditch Stabilization in Texarkana, Arkansas
I live in Texarkana, Arkansas. I have a ditch near the street in my front yard that is approximately 90-100 ft. long. It gets full sun. There is a lot of clay and rocks in the ditch. I need to fin...
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Texarkana, TX
Suggestions for street trees for Texarkana TX
Texarkana, TX, is going to replace a few and add some new street trees downtown. The engineers specified crape myrtle. When I asked if they would consider native trees instead, I was told they thought...
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Texarkana, TX
Native plants for Texarkana, TX
I've been searching for a dependable list of attractive north east native plants, for gardens, landscaping, etc. Specifically, native flowers and shrubs.
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texarkana, TX
Soil for Agave americana
Can you give me some information on soil admendments for growing Agave (Century Plant)? I kept it in a pot during the winter and now I am ready to plant it in my beds
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Redfield, AR
Wildflower meadow for Arkansas
We want to create a 1/2-1 acre wildflower style "meadow" using native plants that we can naturalize. I found information for our area (Central Arkansas) on this website that is helpful, but I am als...
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Redfield, AR
Source for Abutilon fruticosum (Indian mallow) seeds
Do you know anyone who has Abutilon Fruticosum (Indian Mallow) seeds for sale? I would love to grow the Indian Mallow, but can't locate a source. Thanks!
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Bryant, AR
Native replacement for middle school lawn in AR.
I'm doing a project to help out our green middle school replace the grass in front of the school with something that stays short but is also native to the region. Can you recommend one that I can use...
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Nash, TX
Native grasses for chain link fenceline in Nash, TX
I have chain link fence all the way around my yard and I am getting tired of having to weed eat along the fence line. I am looking for some type of year round decorative plant or grass (preferably on...
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Bastrop, LA
Source for Texas Star plant from Bastrop LA
Please tell me where I can get a Texas Star plant?
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Atlanta, TX
How to grow bluebonnets in Atlanta TX
How can I grow bluebonnets in Atlanta Texas?
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Atlanta, TX
Plants for edge of pond
We live in Atlanta, Texas. My husband built a beautiful pond that is almost an acre in size. We are fortunate in that one side of the pond is covered by trees and a natural ground cover that keeps w...
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Atlanta, TX
Drought stressed wooly butterflybush in Atlanta, TX
My butterfly bush is dead looking from the drought. Do you think there is a chance it just went dormant and will return next year. I am still putting water on it. I believe it is a white wooly butterf...
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Atlanta, TX
Possibility of propagating buckeye from basal shoots
I have a beautiful red buckeye tree that has small shoots coming up at the base. I would love to share these with my friends. How do I do this?
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Atlanta, TX
Smarty Plants on southern magnolia
I live in East Texas and there are two 50-year-old southern magnolia trees in front of my house on the highway right-of-way marked to be destroyed. The Texas Department of Transportation has allowed t...
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