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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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Bayou Vista, TX
How to Get Rid of Spike Rush in Raised Beds in Galveston
I have an infestation of spike rush in my raised beds and I want to know how to get rid of it, preferably without killing the insects. I have tried digging it up, but it returns. I live on Galveston B...
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Texas City, TX
Why is my recently planted Esperanza doing poorly in Texas City, TX?
I have an Esperanza I planted about 2 months ago. It has been doing well, except today all but one stem of the plant is wilting and the leaves are rolling. I see no bugs on the plant. Any idea what...
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Texas City , TX
Smarty Plants on Hypogon
How many sides does a hypogon have?
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Hitchcock, TX
Time to mulch without inhibiting seeds in Hitchcock, TX
When would be the best time of year to put down mulch, if I want my native plants to re-seed? I don't want to bury the seed under mulch layers or new dirt. Thank you.
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Galveston, TX
Native Plants for Galveston
I'm looking for low maintenance, drought tolerant plants for Galveston, on the bay side, in a well drained area with morning sun. I was thinking of Phlox, Muhly grass, Lantana.....and I am looking f...
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Galveston, TX
Plant identification
there is a plant in our yard...I believe it to be in the seed phase..it has 3 or 5 pointed leaves topped with a green fuzzy ball then another set of leaves and a green fuzzy ball..this is continued a...
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Galveston, TX
Controlling agave pups from Galveston, TX
I live in Galveston, Tx.I have several large 5ft tall century plants in my yard and the pups are coming up everywhere..how do I control these??? HELP!!
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galveston, TX
Verbena bonariensis won't bloom in Galveston, TX.
My Verbena bonariensis is thriving, but never blooms. The plants look healthy, are about 6 feet tall and in full sun. The buds turn light purple but never open to flower. My neighbor's vb are ...
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Galveston, TX
Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
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Galveston, TX
Genetics reason for color variation in Indian paintbrush
Are the color variations in Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) a matter of genetic mutation or minerals in the soil? I say it's genetic and the rest of the family says it's environmental.
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Galveston, TX
Wildlife plants for backyard on Galveston Island
Can you help me select native plants for Galveston Island that can be used in a backyard to attract native wildlife?
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Santa Fe, TX
When to plant Indian paintbrush seeds
I live in Santa Fe, Texas and I've been trying to find the right date to plant Indian Paintbrush seeds but so far have been unsuccessful. I know it says in the fall but that seems to be a broad rang...
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Arcadia, TX
Cold hardy non-native fig tree for Dallas
Do you know the best cold hardy fig tree that will grow and fruit in Dallas, Texas?
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Kemah, TX
Dying Pine Trees in Texas
I live on the water front street in Kemah, Texas. We took water in the entire neighborhood during Hurricane Ike. That's been a year ago and now I have noticed our pines trees are starting to die. I s...
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League City, TX
Plant identification
I am trying to identify a flowering plant I saw today in Houston. Its leaves are green and it produces beautiful flowers with 4 petals that kind of remind me of a pinwheel. The petals are about 2 inch...
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League City, TX
Damaged oaks from Hurricane Ike in League City, TX
After hurricane IKE, one of our oak trees (in front yard) was partially uprooted from the ground. We did place it back, and tie it down with supports. Further, we inserted fertilizer spikes, and give ...
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League City, TX
Colony of bees nesting in sycamore
I have a very large, old sycamore tree that has recently become home to a colony of honey bees. They have taken up dwelling in a hollow limb of the tree about 25 feet off the ground. While this is gre...
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League City, TX
What insect eats Alamo Fire blue bonnets from League City TX
What insect eats Alamo Fire blue bonnets? Something seems to be eating new seedpods.
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Nassau Bay, TX
Plants That Thrive Under Trees in Texas
I have a flower bed with dense shade (under a mature maple tree and a large mature bottle brush) located on the Galveston/Harris county line just off of Clear Lake. The bed has sprinklers and drains w...
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Nassau Bay, TX
Propagation of American Beautyberry
Hello. I would love to know how to propagate the American Beauty (Texas Location) as I think it is most gorgeous. We lost most of our shrubs/plants in Ike and are replacing them. If I do these from ...
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Seabrook, TX
Aggressive Frogfruit
I have frogfruit voluntarily growing in my flower beds. I had intended to use it as a ground cover but am concerned that it is taking over. Will it kill (smother) my flowers that I have planted for bu...
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