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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

Sulphur Springs, TX
Identification of possible wild plums thickets
I have several "thickets" of small shrub/bushes on my land that I hunt on. These small trees are usually 5-7 feet tall, always grow in thickets of ten to up to sixty or so bushes. They are always lo...
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Commerce, TX
Need native plants for wind block and screening along a fence row in Commerce, TX
I'm looking for a small tree or lg shrub for wind block & screening along a fence row. The soil is black clay with a mostly full sun exposure. Landscaper suggested Elaeagnus but I want a nat...
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Emory, TX
Native Plants for Emory Texas
I live in Emory Texas want to plant native plants in my yard. I am new to Texas and need help.
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Emory, TX
Unknown ailment of Turk's cap in northeast Texas
I just moved from the Dallas area to Emory in the north east part. I brought two young Turk's cap plants in pots. I had to leave the mother plant behind. The tops have a very curled and shrunken a...
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Point, TX
Non-flowering mimosas in Texas
I have two mimosa trees, about 3 years old. Both were grown from volunteer seedlings. Neither have flowers nor have they produced seed pods. Are they too young or do they need a source of pollenation...
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Winnsboro, TX
Native Grasses for Winnsboro, Texas
What would be a good grass to plant in East Texas near Winnsboro? My soil is sandy.
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Winnsboro, TX
Plants to stabilize a steep slope in east Texas
We have a very steep dirt dam in Winnsboro TX, full sun, and burmuda and rye grasses have not been enough to keep from having some mud sliding. We keep adding clay and reworking but want to preserve t...
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Winnsboro, TX
Privacy hedge for East Texas
I need suggestions for a native shrub/bush as a privacy hedge for East Texas conditions. Thank you.
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Lake Cypress Springs, TX
Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
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Quitman, TX
Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?
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Scroggins, TX
Native bamboos from Scroggins TX
Can you please recommend a NATIVE bamboo for NE Tx? We live in the Piney Woods in a lake community.
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Ladonia, TX
Time for planting wildflower seeds in East Texas
I live in northeast Texas, and we have had abundant rains here. Can I plant some wildflower seeds now, and if so, what plants would be appropriate?
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Ladonia, TX
Plant identification
We were at some friends' ranch in Bandera Co. last week and found a plant with 1 inch pea-like pods of a matchstick girth with square black seeds. There were no leaves left only smooth green stems w...
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Roxton, TX
Alternatives to non-Texas native pin cherry for Texas
Dear Ms. Smarty Plants, I learned that the fire cherry/ pin cherry is a very hardy tree, and that it is very drought resistant. I live in zone 7, on black land, which becomes very dry in the summer. ...
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Edgewood, TX
Plants for privacy screen in Edgewood TX
Can you recommend a large fast growing tree, shrub, etc. that can give me some privacy from my neighbor across the street that likes to use his binoculars? I live in East Texas on about 10 acres.
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Paris, TX
Need to find a place to buy Western Soapberry in Paris, TX.
Where is the closest place to purchase a Western Soapberry tree?
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Paris, TX
Groundcover for shade in Paris, Texas
I have a south exposure with 2 large sycamore trees. Noon sun in patches and mainly dappled shade but not dense. I'm consideering planting asian ivy. The soil is "sandy loam" but it's very sand...
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Paris, TX
Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
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Paris, TX
Vinca minor and St. Augustine grass
Will St. Augustine grass choke out vinca minor?
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Paris, TX
Ground cover for trails in Northeast Texas
I have several acres of wooded land in Northeast Texas, Southern Lamar County. Both sandy and black land. I have created trails through the woods and would like to plant a native ground cover or gras...
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Paris, TX
Identification of growth on possible oak tree
We have photographed a very unusual bloom or growth on a tree we suspect may be an oak, and would like to submit photos of the bloom, bark, and (leafless) tree to someone for identification. My wild ...
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