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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

Rusk, TX
Propagation of Prunus Mexicana in Rusk TX
How do you scarify seeds from the Prunus Mexicana? Can the branches be made to grow roots?
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Rusk, TX
Affect of poisonous plant roots in soils for vegetables from Rusk TX
I have a huge old flowerbed in front of my house that I want to plant veggies in, but I'm afraid to. It has a catalpa tree there, which I sell the worms from, but the entire tree (bark, leaves, flowe...
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Rusk, TX
Yellowing branches on non-native sago palms after freeze in Rusk TX
My Sago Palms experienced a good freeze. Now they have a multitude of yellowing branches, in fact most of the plant is yellow. Please advise what to do to save my plants. They are about nine years ...
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Gallatin, TX
Grass for family cemetery in Gallatin TX
Recently, we made a family cemetery, and are now trying to find a type of grass that will make a healthy lawn for it. What would be an appropriate species to plant here?
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Jacksonville, TX
Plants for difficult site in Jacksonville, TX
East Texas (Cherokee County) red clay hillside, hard-packed, difficult to get to, 40' of it slopes 4' down in about 6'! Another 30' of it is flat. Between the hillside and the flat clay area is a...
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palestine, TX
Wildflower seeds planted in May for summer in Fairfield, TX
Are there any wildflower seeds which can be planted in May for the summer? I have planted a wildgrass seed mixture I purchased from Turner Seed Company and planted it today (5-2-05). It was supposed...
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Grapeland, TX
Plants for shaded area in East Texas
I live in East Texas and have an area that is shaded most of the day - it only gets sun in the middle of the day but it is direct. What would be best? I would prefer something that won't freeze, bu...
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Grapeland, TX
Grapeland, TX is NOT Grapevine, TX
I submitted a question and today received my answer. I do thank you for this valuable service. However, I stated that I lived in East Texas in GRAPELAND, Tx. Nan Hampton answered me and said that a...
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Grapeland, TX
East Texas Natives and Botanical History
I am looking for flowers &/or flowering shrubs that are native to east Texas, especially that would have been in this area over 100 or more years ago.
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Grapeland, TX
Evergreen shrub for East Texas
I am looking for a small to medium evergreen shrub (native to east Texas) for a location that receives some sun in the morning but mostly shade. Something that blooms & attracts butterflys & hummingbi...
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Whitehouse, TX
Milkweed with the biggest pods in Smith County, TX?
I live in East Texas and I would like to know which of the milkweed plants bears the largest seed pod. I would also like to know the best time to locate the pods in and around the Smith County area.
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Whitehouse, TX
Poolside tree for Whitehouse TX
What would you recommend for native shade tree or flowering tree on the north side of a swimming pool in East Texas/Smith County? Trying to avoid too much dropping of flowers, nuts, etc. Looking to ...
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Whitehouse, TX
Source for blue phlox in Whitehouse TX
Where can I purchase blue phlox ground cover? I live ten minutes from Tyler,Tx
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Nacogdoches, TX
Eliminating weeds from seeded wildflower stands
We live in Eastern Central Texas in a small community on Texas Highway 7. Last fall, we went to the Wildseed Flower Farm near Fredricksburg and purchased a bag of mixed wildflower seeds and planted...
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Nacogdoches, TX
Plant identification
My neighbor has a few trees in his pasture that his horses love to eat the fruit off of. The fruit looks like a lemon but smaller and has lots of seeds inside of it. The trees have very long thorns on...
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Nacogdoches, TX
Native groundcover for sun in East Texas
I am hoping you can advise me on a native, flowering, fast growing groundcover that would thrive in full sun, with some shady areas under a couple camellia trees. I live in Nacogdoches and have sandy...
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Nacogdoches, TX
When will bluebonnets bloom in Texas this year from Nacogdoches, TX
When can we expect to see bluebonnets blooming in Texas this year?
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Henderson, TX
Return to original color of non-native crape myrtles in Henderson, TX
Mr. Smarty Plants, I bought 3 Dynamite Crape Myrtles that were about 3 -4 feet tall (at Lowe's). In the late Spring, I planted 2 of them about 100 feet apart, in full sun, and left the other one in...
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Crockett, TX
Retailers of possumhaw
How can I find retailers of possumhaw (Ilex decidua)?
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Crockett, TX
Should I top my scraggly magnolia tree? No
Mr.Smarty Plants, I live in Crockett,Tx. My husband and I just bought this house. In the front yard I have a very tall,scraggly magnolia tree due to trees growing up around it. We have cut some of tho...
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Crockett, TX
Native evergreens for privacy in Crockett, TX
I need advice on what tall evergreens I can plant along a fence line for privacy. I need trees that will be at minimum 8 to 10 feet tall at maturity, are aesthetically pleasing and provide privacy. ...
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