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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

Onalaska, TX
Bloom time for Opuntia engelmannii
We are planing a trip to West Texas, El Paso area, in March and can't remember when the prickly pear cactus are in bloom. Can you help!
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Onalaska, TX
Freeze-back of Hamelia patens in winter in Texas
Will the hamelia patens freeze back in the winter ?
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Livingston, TX
Problems with Savannah holly from Livingston TX
Our Savannah Holly standards, planted in spring 2012, are now 10' tall, with 2-3" caliper trunks at the base. Some are in decline or have died. We thought the ribbons holding them to the nursery's ...
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Livingston, TX
Non-native invasive tungoil tree
I believe I have a tungoil tree growing in my yard. How do I care for it and when would be the best time to move it. It is about 6 foot tall and has about 12 seed (fruit) on it. Thanks.
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Livingston, TX
Replacing vegetation lost to hurricane
Between Rita & Ike, I have lost over 40 beautiful trees, most red, white & post oaks. I have 6 very large (7' in diameter) pines that tried to pull up and are now leaning toward my house. They are sc...
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Livingston, TX
Hurricane damage to pecan tree
The recent hurricane twisted the top out of our pecan tree, leaving a couple still attached but down on the ground. Could we cut all of the damage off and just leave the trunk? Would there be a chan...
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Groveton, TX
Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
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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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Trinity, TX
Deer resistant plants for Trinity, TX
I need a list of deer resistant flowers, herbs and plants that would could be planted in Trinity, Texas.
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Trinity, TX
Looking for native plant nurseries
I am in 75862 zip code which is a long way from everywhere. I am trying to find native plant nurseries within 100 miles. Many sites just talk about native plants, and have photos, but very little info...
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Huntsville, TX
Pecan with brown spots on the leaves
Southern pecan, I am a 8 foot tall and 3 year old (young)tree. My leafs have brown spots on top and hard shell mound on the bottom, this is on about 3/4 of the of the leafs, could you tell me what th...
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Huntsville, TX
Ground cover for heavy dog traffic in Huntsville TX
We have recently moved to Huntsville, TX where our backyard is very shady and has only a small patch of St. Augustine grass and the rest is a dry, sand-like soil. We also have 2 Great Danes and 2 Pugs...
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Huntsville, TX
What soil to plant native plants in Huntsville TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased several plants at the Spring Plant Sale and would like to know when planting them, what type of soil should I use. I typically use partial native soil an...
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Huntsville, TX
Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
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Huntsville, TX
Identification of three-petaled lilac colored flower in Texas
I found a single bloom. It has three petals, lilac colored with white spots toward the center with purple dots. The stamens are a greenish color. Bloom has an iris appearance. Can't find it in my...
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Huntsville, TX
Care for oak acorns after planting from Huntsville TX
I planted oak trees from acorns, how often and how much do I water them?
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New Waverly, TX
Propagation of mountain laurel seeds
My Texas Mountain Laurel this year finally produced seed pods. How do I go about planting the seeds for a new tree? A few of my co-workers love my tree and I would like to give them either the seeds ...
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New Waverly, TX
Fast growing shade tree for East Texas Piney Woods
What is the fastest growing shade tree for E.Tx.Piney Woods? We have an area that desperately needs protection from the summer heat. The site is comprised of gumbo clay and there are no other plants t...
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Chester, TX
Difference between white and red berried versions of Callicarpa americana
I have seen many American Beautyberry Bushes [Callicarpa americana] but it was not until I moved into the Big Thicket region that I had ever seen a white berried one. There is no difference botanicall...
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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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Willis, TX
Groundcover for area under oaks in Lake Conroe, Texas
I live just off Lake Conroe, and my backyard is more dirt than grass. It is under a number of oak trees, and the dirt is more of a silt than a sand. I need suggestions for a quick growing ground cover...
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