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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

Daingerfield, TX
Fast growing, native fruit trees for Northeast Texas
What kind of fruit tree will grow fast and be pretty in Northeast Texas?
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Pittsburg, TX
Using non-native Red-Tip Photinia as a mulch from Pittsburg TX
Wondering if its ok to use Red Tip Phontinia as a mulch? thanks
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Mount Pleasant , TX
Grass-planting time in Mt. Pleasant, TX
We are new to Texas and just finished building a house. The builder wants to seed the grass now (December). Will it germinate or will we have to replant in spring?
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Mt. Pleasant, TX
Removing Purple Top Tridens out of Mt Pleasant Texas
We would like to know how to kill these Purple Top Triden out of our garden. Thanks, Judy
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Mt. Pleasant, TX
Will cattle eat non-native Star Jasmine from Mt. Pleasant TX
Will cattle eat Star Jasmine if planted on driveway entrance from pasture?
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Mount Pleasant, TX
Native ground covers for shade in East Texas
I live in Mount Pleasant, Texas which is in northeast Texas. I would like a list of ground covers that would do well in our area. The place I want to put it gets a lot of shade. The ground is clay. Th...
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Douglassville, TX
Looking for a fast-growing evergreen shrub to use along a fence line to obscure unsightly surroundings in Douglassville, TX.
I live in far East Texas (near Texarkana). I need a fast growing, thick evergreen shrub to plant along a fenceline to block out the unsightly "junkyard" my neighbors have going. Prefer something t...
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Douglassville, TX
Speeding up growth of Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
I have germinated Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca, for our Caddo Native plant sale. I have kept in the cool greenhouse for 2 months and they are about 2 inches. A friend put one outside and they froz...
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Gilmer, TX
Landscaping help for Gilmer, TX
We have just moved to the beautiful hot state of Texas from warm California and we need some help! Our roses are dying, we have a patch about 25ft. by 3ft. that gets the rain run off like a little str...
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Gilmer, TX
Native grasses for Gilmer TX
I would like to get some native grasses growing on our farm that are good for wildlife - barnyard grass - sedges - smartweed - have read and heard that all I need to do is disc and fertilize - yes/no ...
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Simms, TX
Identification of tree or shrub from Simms TX
Thought you might have the expertise to help identify this tree/shrub? They were planted about 10 years ago and started in a pot about 2 feet high. I have photos but not sure how to send them to you; ...
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Lake Cypress Springs, TX
Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
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Scroggins, TX
Native bamboos from Scroggins TX
Can you please recommend a NATIVE bamboo for NE Tx? We live in the Piney Woods in a lake community.
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Jefferson, TX
Sources of cut native wildflowers
I am preparing for my garden club's annual flower show and I have been assigned Southern Graces in San Antonio. Is there a source for cut bluebonnets or indian paintbrushes? Thank you.
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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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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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Winnsboro, TX
Native Grasses for Winnsboro, Texas
What would be a good grass to plant in East Texas near Winnsboro? My soil is sandy.
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Winnsboro, TX
Plants to stabilize a steep slope in east Texas
We have a very steep dirt dam in Winnsboro TX, full sun, and burmuda and rye grasses have not been enough to keep from having some mud sliding. We keep adding clay and reworking but want to preserve t...
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