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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

Thicket, TX
Need to identify a strange plant in my flowerbed
I have a strange plant that I've called a weed in my flowerbed. It doesn't have many leaves but it has round white almost bulbs at the surface of the dirt. The "bulbs" look almost like a small oni...
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Batson, TX
Hanging Baskets for Batson, TX
What plants can I put in hanging baskets for my shady porch?
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Providence Village, TX
Selecting landscape trees for Denton Co., TX
I live in Denton County and I'm trying to select a few trees to plant in my yard. I'd like them to be native or at least "antique" (hardy varieties which have adapted to the conditions without bec...
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Providence Village, TX
Survivability of birch trees in Texas
Is it known whether Gray birch (Betula populifolia Marsh) will grow in North Texas? It seems like the only birch variety which might - and how short is a "short lifespan" for a tree?
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Sour Lake , TX
Plant identfication
slow growing woody vine, yellow flowers, (grows butterfly shape leaves with seed in middle of it) in addition to the regular leaves.
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Goodrich, TX
Fertilizing oaks to produce more acorns
What type of fertilizer would I use on oak trees to possibly increase growth and acorn production ? I have some flooded oak timber that is home to migrating ducks but there is little for them to eat.
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Liberty, TX
Is wild foxglove poisonous to dogs from Liberty TX
Is penstemon cobaea (wild foxglove)poisonous to pets, specifically dogs. I was thinking about adding this to my native Texan wild flower section of my backyard.
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Silsbee, TX
Can bluebonnets grow in a field of Bahia grass in Silsbee, TX?
My question is if you have a field of Bahia grass, can bluebonnets grow there or will the grass choke them out?
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Silsbee, TX
Sooty mold on Texas Sage in Silsbee, TX.
I just saw two questions from December regarding black sooty mold appearing on leaves of Texas Sage. My Texas Sage is two years old growing in the original, well-draining large pot it was planted in ...
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Silsbee, TX
Information on non-native Erythrinia crista-galli
I am trying to find out some more information on a plant called firemen caps.. How to grow and sun or shade or both..
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Cleveland, TX
Trees for Plum Grove, TX
Sorry Mr. Smarty pants, my question is I live in Plum Grove Texas, I have 5 acres and NO TREES. What trees were on the property were either taken out by Ike, or the twisters that followed. I have boug...
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Livingston, TX
Problems with Savannah holly from Livingston TX
Our Savannah Holly standards, planted in spring 2012, are now 10' tall, with 2-3" caliper trunks at the base. Some are in decline or have died. We thought the ribbons holding them to the nursery's ...
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Livingston, TX
Replacing vegetation lost to hurricane
Between Rita & Ike, I have lost over 40 beautiful trees, most red, white & post oaks. I have 6 very large (7' in diameter) pines that tried to pull up and are now leaning toward my house. They are sc...
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Livingston, TX
Non-native invasive tungoil tree
I believe I have a tungoil tree growing in my yard. How do I care for it and when would be the best time to move it. It is about 6 foot tall and has about 12 seed (fruit) on it. Thanks.
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Livingston, TX
Hurricane damage to pecan tree
The recent hurricane twisted the top out of our pecan tree, leaving a couple still attached but down on the ground. Could we cut all of the damage off and just leave the trunk? Would there be a chan...
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Plum Grove, TX
Plants for shade in Texas
I am looking for shade tolerant shrubs to plant near our carport. We live in Plum Grove, near Splendora, Texas. I don't want anything with thorns that will scratch the paint or me while getting i...
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Splendora, TX
Native grass for Splendora, Texas.
We have a newly built house on a two acre lot in Splendora (zip code 77372). We would like to seed (the best choice) for grass. What about centipede or buffalo grass? The soil is a sand with clay 4...
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Chester, TX
Difference between white and red berried versions of Callicarpa americana
I have seen many American Beautyberry Bushes [Callicarpa americana] but it was not until I moved into the Big Thicket region that I had ever seen a white berried one. There is no difference botanicall...
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Beaumont, TX
Plant identification called Touch-Me-Not, Impatiens sp.
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: My grandmother used to have a bed of plants that would come up every year that she called "Touch Me Nots". The flower was about 1 1/2" across, orangey with flat green leav...
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Beaumont, TX
How will winter weather affect bluebonnets this year?
Just wondering how our winter weather this year will affect the blooming of bluebonnets. When are they expected to be in full bloom and what will be their duration? Thank you.
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Beaumont, TX
Getting rid of bermudagrass
How do I get rid of bermuda grass in my San Augustine grass?
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