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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

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

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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Hitchcock, TX
Plants for hummingbirds and butterflies in Galveston County TX
I am looking for native plants for a butterfly and hummingbird garden. I plan on putting the hummingbird garden in part shade and would like some Fall blooming plants to attract them during migration....
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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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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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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
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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Alvin, TX
Sources for Wax myrtle (Morella cerifera)
I live in Alvin, Texas. I am looking for a small shade tree, that is easy to care for. I only have a small area for the tree. Alvin, Texas is about 30 miles from Galveston. I saw a wax myrtle tre...
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Alvin, TX
ID for pines along Interstate 45
Along the interstate (45) once you get up past Conroe and closer to Dallas, there are some type of pne tree that grows in the medians and on the sides. I love these trees but haven't been able to id...
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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
Smarty Plants on Hypogon
How many sides does a hypogon have?
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Webster, TX
Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
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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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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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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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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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Friendswood, TX
Toxicity of non-native red-tip photinia to fish from Friendswood TX
Mr. Smarty Plants, I have seen several questions on Red Tip Photinia (RTP) concerning toxicity to horses, dogs and children. We recently lost over 100 gold fish and 6 large KOI in our man made back ...
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Friendswood, TX
Problems with Savannah Holly plants in Friendswood, TX.
I have planted 4 savannah hollies in front of my house, two on the left of the door and two on the right. If you are standing in front of my house and looking at the door, the sun rises at the back l...
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Friendswood, TX
Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
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Friendswood, TX
2012 wildflower forecast from Friendswood TX
What is your current view of the 2012 Wildflower Forecast? What weeks might be best for someone traveling from Colorado to see our flowers? We are concerned about what the drought will do to the 20...
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