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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 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

Cypress, TX
Leaf drop from live oaks in mid-summer
We have a live oak that is starting to drop a considerable amount of leaves here in early July in Cypress Texas. Its a mature tree with a base diameter of 12-14" and 25-30' tall. We live in a subd...
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CYPRESS, TX
Identification of plant purchased as desert willow
Purchased a plant at Chappel Hill, Texas and was told it was a desert willow. The bloom cluster and pink color are very similar, but leaves resemble the wisteria. Very pretty. What is it? Can it be r...
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Cypress, TX
I need an evergreen vine to hide an ugly fence.
I am looking to find a vine that will be on my south facing fence. I would like it to be evergreen as to hide my ugly fence.
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cypress, TX
Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
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Cypress, TX
Removal of bramble under live oaks and replacing with groundcover
We have several large live oaks on the front of our 12 acre property in Hockley, Texas. Under and around each oak is an extensive amount of bramble which we would like to remove so that we can enjoy ...
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Cypress, TX
Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX
I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank...
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Cypress, TX
Texas natives for a small garden with red flowers
I have a garden that is 4' deep, what can I put there that is a Texas native, I would really like some color (preferably red)also it needs to be able to grow tall (8 - 10')
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Cypress, TX
Non-native tropical Butterfly vine (Mascagnia macroptera) in Houston
HOWDY . . . Miss Smarty Plants !!! I am trying to identify one of the most intriguing, unusual & beautiful vines that I have ever seen. I encountered this vine at the home of an 87 year old widow ...
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Durham Park, TX
Plants for wildlife/wildflower sanctuary
We have 17 acres in our sub-development called Durham Park that we would like to convert into some kind of wildlife/wildflower sanctuary. Can you put me on the right track.
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Tomball, TX
Bluebonnet stencil for furniture
where or who would sell furniture stancils of bluebonnets
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Tomball, TX
Source for non-native yellow bauhinia in Tomball, TX
I am trying to find a yellow bauhinia plant/tree/shrub here in Tomball, TX. I went to the Arbor Gate in Tomball and they only have the white and orange, but they do have a yellow bauhinia on display ...
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Tomball, TX
Correct cultural conditions for liatris
I recently bought some gayfeather (liatris pycnostachya) and planted in my yard in a nice full sun spot. Gets sun for roughly 10 hours a day. However, it's also the single driest spot in my yard (jus...
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Tomball, TX
Want to take cuttings from Yaupon in Tomball, TX.
From Tomball, Texas - we have a very shaded back yard and would like some lower growing shrubbery as a screen for the neighbors. Wild yaupon holly is growing well on the fringes and I would like to f...
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Tomball, TX
Distinguishing elm species from volunteers in yard
What's the best way to distinguish young elm tree species apart from one another? We have a bunch coming up in our yard and we're trying to figure out if they are Winged, Cedar or American. Some of ...
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Hockley, TX
Plant identification
There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.
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Hockley, TX
Native evergreen vine for East Texas
Can you please recommend a native vine (western edge of East Texas in the pines) that will be evergreen and fast growing? It will get about 4 to 5 hours of sun on my moongate. Flowers a plus, but not ...
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Hockley, TX
Removing poison ivy around live oak in Hockley TX
We have a large live oak in our backyard, estimated to be over 100 years old. I am working on clearing out the brush that is under the tree. Can I spray commercially available poison ivy killer in t...
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Hockley, TX
Survival of native lawn in Hockley TX
I'm on the edge of the Katy Prairie and a very large ranch with full blasting sun and completely open exposure. The soil is fill from the developers with more clay than sand, a minimum of nutrients,...
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Hockley, TX
Is non-native mascagnia macroptera poisonous to animals from Hockley TX
Is Mascagmia macroptra (Butterfly Vine) poisonous to animals (horses and dogs)?
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Hockley, TX
Need a native tree for full sun in Hockley, TX
What native trees should I plant for full sun. I am building on a 1/2 acre previously used as grazing land on the original Katy prairie. I need one large shade tree, a few smaller ornamentals, and a...
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hockley, TX
A bounty of options for planting natives in Hockley Texas
I have about 1 acre of land in Hockley Texas, outside Houston, that we had cleared of shrubs and poison ivy. We kept the trees so there are some areas with mostly shade and some areas with partial su...
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