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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

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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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Winnsboro, TX
Privacy hedge for East Texas
I need suggestions for a native shrub/bush as a privacy hedge for East Texas conditions. Thank you.
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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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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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WOODLANDS, TX
Hummingbird plants and Indian Hawthorn
I live in The Woodlands in a new section of homes. I planted some hummingbird plants in full sun and they did ok last year for 4 months, then lost all their leaves and died when the winter came. At ...
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Quitman, TX
Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?
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White Oak, TX
Problems with non-native althea in White Oak TX
I have an althea bush that is 2 years old. I have never had a problem with it before but this year only half of it has leaved out and is blooming. The other half has some very small leaves and very sm...
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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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Longview, TX
Mountain laurel with fasciation
My Texas Mountain Laurel bush has developed several "crested branches." What causes this, is it harmful & how do I get rid of them??? Thank you!
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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
Caring for non-native Peace Lily
I have given my closet plant too much miracle gro and the leaves are drooping really bad. What do I need to do?
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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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