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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

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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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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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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New Caney, TX
Mystery berries on vine in Montgomery County, TX
While out in the woods today on Caney Creek near Grangerland, Texas, I found what I thought to be some grapes on a vine hanging down from a tree. I brought the vine down, but when I got it home to pr...
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New Caney, TX
Will Habiturf be chicken feed from New Caney TX
How well does your recommended native turf grass mix hold up against chickens or do double duty as feed? I have a mixed use property that will house Rabbits, Poultry (chickens/duck/geese), and ev...
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New Caney, TX
Flowering vine that will bloom in East Texas in March
What kind of flowering vine will bloom at the end of March in New Caney, Tex. 77357?
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Porter, TX
What variations of non-native Lavender will grow in Montgomery County TX
I live in East Montgomery County, Texas. What varieties of Lavender grow best in my area? I had some success with Providence variety and Spanish variety. I would like to grow more varieties if possi...
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Porter, TX
Slow development in Shumard Oak from Porter TX
We had two Shumard Oaks Planted in Sept of last year (2012). About a month later, they started browning and dropping their leaves (no color change). Now I noticed on one of the trees the buds have sta...
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Porter, TX
Evergreen shrub for hedge in Porter, Texas
We are trying to decide on what would be good privacy hedges (at least 6 ft. tall) to run down our long backyard chainlink fences. I'm allergic to Ligustrums and we have 2 dogs and a cat which I hear...
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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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Kingwood, TX
Native plants to replace non-native Pentas plant in butterfly garden
Can you suggest a Native alternative to Pentas? a freeze killed mine and if a native plant can fill that nectar/color void in my garden I'd appreciate it. thanks for all that y'all do.
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Kingwood, TX
Source of seeds for Penstemon murrayanus
Is it possible to obtain seeds of Penstemon murrayanus? I'd like to contribute to the propagation of this threatened species.
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Kingwood, TX
Best preparation time for wildflower garden for summer
Is it too late in late Fall to prepare a wildflower garden for next spring/summer?
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Kingwood, TX
Snails in my flower beds
I live in Kingwood, Texas (north of Houston). I have been inundated with snails in my flower beds in my front & backyard. I really didn't want to use a pesticide, but they were eating all of my flo...
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Kingwood, TX
Pine bark on non-native St. Augustine grass in Kingwood TX
I had two large Pine trees cut down. In the process of cutting the trees down there is a lot of pine bark from the tree on my St Augustine grass. Will this affect the growth of my grass?
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Conroe, TX
Plants for erosion control in East Texas
We have recently moved to Conroe and are having a problem with erosion behind a retaining wall (installed by previous owner. The retaining wall is made of concrete and is about 8 foot tall by 110 foo...
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Conroe, TX
Identification of plant with seed pods that have red seeds
I was working for a landscaping company and I was told to clean up around the pool area. I started cleaning up then I noticed this dark brown pod on the ground. At first I thought it was a piece of an...
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Conroe, TX
Identification of wild plum found in Conroe, TX
I have found a wild plum that has dirty pink flowers and reddish smooth bark in a field in the town of Conroe, Tx. Identification thru the Ag Man here was sketchy and inaccurate. Short stubby limbs w...
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Conroe, TX
What will grow in red clay in Conroe TX?
We just built a new home and the foundation was poured on red clay which is what my flowerbed area is in. Could you please tell me what can be planted that will grow. I am looking for ground cover, fl...
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Conroe, TX
Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
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Conroe, TX
Need information about oak wilt and Shumard oak in Houston, Tx.
I want to plant a Shumard red oak in my North Houston front yard, with two Nuttall oaks. I keep hearing about something call oak wilt. Is there something I can do to prevent this disease during the ...
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