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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

Gary, TX
East Texas grasses for holding soils
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about the East Texas area: Specifically, which natvie grasses can be planted to hold the soil/new roads through the winter? Here is the situation: (Against...
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Carthage, TX
Need shade friendly native grass for lawn under pine trees in Carthage, TX.
My home is situated on six acres of woods in the East Texas piney woods area. Other than a few beds I have tried to plant, the yard has not been landscaped. I am trying to cover dirt and weeds in a p...
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Carthage, TX
Native grasses for East Texas that require no mowing or watering
What native grass can I grow in deep East Texas that would require no supplemental watering and no mowing?
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Henderson, TX
Return to original color of non-native crape myrtles in Henderson, TX
Mr. Smarty Plants, I bought 3 Dynamite Crape Myrtles that were about 3 -4 feet tall (at Lowe's). In the late Spring, I planted 2 of them about 100 feet apart, in full sun, and left the other one in...
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East, TX
Possible causes for plant problems in East Texas
I have been an avid gardener for over 35 years in Texas.I love the wildflowers and use them extensively in my 2 acre plot here in East Texas. There is something really bad going on with my garden: pl...
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Nacogdoches, TX
Plant identification
My neighbor has a few trees in his pasture that his horses love to eat the fruit off of. The fruit looks like a lemon but smaller and has lots of seeds inside of it. The trees have very long thorns on...
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Nacogdoches, TX
When will bluebonnets bloom in Texas this year from Nacogdoches, TX
When can we expect to see bluebonnets blooming in Texas this year?
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Nacogdoches, TX
Eliminating weeds from seeded wildflower stands
We live in Eastern Central Texas in a small community on Texas Highway 7. Last fall, we went to the Wildseed Flower Farm near Fredricksburg and purchased a bag of mixed wildflower seeds and planted...
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Nacogdoches, TX
Native groundcover for sun in East Texas
I am hoping you can advise me on a native, flowering, fast growing groundcover that would thrive in full sun, with some shady areas under a couple camellia trees. I live in Nacogdoches and have sandy...
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Marshall, TX
Smarty Plants on plant patents
How would I go about patenting a plant?
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Marshall, TX
Grass planting time in East Texas
When is a good time to plant grass in East Texas - Harrison County? Thanks so much.
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Keithville, LA
Plants for under Oak Trees in LA.
What type of plants and grass can be planted under and around oak trees
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San Augustine, TX
Native plants for East Texas school gardens
I am a teacher in San Augustine, Texas (which is in the Eastern Pineywoods region). I have started an outdoor classroom/schoolyard habitat at our school. We are in the process of planning our plant ...
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San Augustine, TX
Looking for fruit and nut trees to plant in San Augustine, TX
I am setting up residence in San Augustine, Texas on approximately 9 acres of land. We wanted to plant a few of each type of fruit and nut trees that would prosper in the area (for wildlife and for o...
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Kilgore, TX
Raised bed for wildflowers in Kilgore TX
Please give me ideas of how to build a raised wildflower garden in a small back yard with 50% shade all day. I have common bermuda grass with an area of a 5' X 10' setting that will receive the mos...
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Kilgore, TX
Vine for pergola in Kilgore, Texas
Have recently constructed a 10'X 20' free standing pergola with a 14' X 24' treated wood deck surround. The support posts are inset 14" from the outside edge. I want to grow greenery on the per...
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longview, TX
Planting bluebonnets along highway
We are in the process of fencing our land located on a main highway. We are supposed to fence 80ft. from the center of the highway. That is a lot of land just sitting there. I wanted to know since we ...
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Longview, TX
Luring wildlife in Longview
I live in Longview, Texas and am in the process of trying to restore a natural habitat for wildlife in my area. Could you give me a list of plants that are native specific so that I can lure local bi...
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Longview, TX
Early, middle and late blooming flowers for pollinators in East Texas
On our farm in northeast Texas we are participating in a Conservation Program through the NRCS. We have to plant 4 acres for pollinators--early blooming, middle blooming, and late blooming. I need t...
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Longview, TX
American Bittersweet in east Texas
Does American Bittersweet vine grow in east Texas? It grows wild in Indiana and want to find it in our new location, Longview, Texas
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Longview, TX
Oak trees losing leaves in Longview, Texas
One of my oak trees is losing its leaves (it is the first week in August). They are turning brown and falling at an alarming rate. The ground under this tree is covered, but my other trees seem unaffe...
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