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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

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
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
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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Chandler, TX
Injury while pulling weeds in Chandler TX
I stabbed my self this last weekend when pulling roots from a bed so i'm not sure what it was. At the time it was a sharp pain so I pulled off my glove to look at it,barely scratched the skin so on I...
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Winona, TX
Can a fallen tree in Texas have pieces of it removed from Winona TX
I was wondering if you could tell me if a tree has fallen down, is it legal for me to go and cut pieces off of it in the state of Texas. And if you happen not to know could you tell me who I would con...
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Lindale, TX
Is Sedum recommended for a greenroof project in Houston
Would you recommend using Sedum for a green roof project in Houston, Texas? Will the humidity effect the sedum? If sedum would be a poor choice, what would you recommend for Houston?
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Lindale, TX
Care for non-native Centipede grass
My lawn is Centipede. I have created a new lawn area. Can and when should I seed/overseed my lawn? I have Rye in the new area.
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Lindale, TX
How to eliminate Sawgrass from a small lake in Lindale, TX?
We live on a small acre lake (about 65 acres) and the majority of the lake is surrounded by what the locals are calling saw grass. From the description on the website, I believe they are correct. The...
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Edom, TX
Erosion under a Live Oak in Edom TX
We have a large Live Oak tree in the front yard that I wouldn't part with for the world. The soil is almost solid sand underneath the tree, and in deep shade. It is on a slight slope and eroding wi...
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Van, TX
Identity of mystery plant in non-native commercial forage mix
Dear Smart One, I use a commercially prepared, fortified, chopped forage based on a mix of orchard and Timothy grasses. The bags are shipped in from out of State. However, I have been finding short s...
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Van, TX
Contacts for finding wildflowers in Texas
Do you have a website or phone number for updates to find blooming wildflowers?
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Van, TX
Need information about broadcasting wildflower seeds in a pasture 70 miles east of Dallas, TX.
We recently moved to upper east TX - 70 miles East of Dallas. I would like to broadcast wildflowers in our pasture. I'm assuming I'll need to wait until next fall, but not sure about that. Can you t...
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Van, TX
Need suggestions for a privacy screen besides Murray Cypress.
Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in NE TX, about an hour east of Dallas on I-20. I hear interstate traffic behind my house, and have a busy street on its left side, and a school adjoining in back. I thi...
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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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Kilgore, TX
Vine for pergola in Kilgore, Texas
Have recently constructed a 10'X 20' free standing pergola with a 14' X 24' treated wood deck surround. The support posts are inset 14" from the outside edge. I want to grow greenery on the per...
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Kilgore, TX
Raised bed for wildflowers in Kilgore TX
Please give me ideas of how to build a raised wildflower garden in a small back yard with 50% shade all day. I have common bermuda grass with an area of a 5' X 10' setting that will receive the mos...
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New York, TX
Ground cover for East Texas
I live in the country of east Texas and wish to grow native ground covers around my house and property. I have no way to control this growth, as I have no fences or borders. I have sandy soil and th...
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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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LaRue, TX
Ground cover for a sunny location
Looking for Native ground cover for sunny slope in LaRue TX I would like something that will cover year-round and flower in Spring/Summer/Fall. If it has a berry in the fall for birds and attracts bu...
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LaRue, TX
Why is Hamelia patens, a species listed as invasive, in the Wildflower Center database?
Hamelia patens (Firebush) is listed as an invasive plant at Invasive.Org, the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, which partners with the US Forest Service, Univ of GA and others. LBJ ...
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LaRue, TX
Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter int...
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