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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

Lucas, TX
Care of wildflower meadow dried out in drought
Mr Smarty Plants, Our wildflower patch is completely dried up here in Lucas,Tx. What do you do with the field? Mow it? Trim it? Let it be? The patch is about 1/2 acre.. Thanks,
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Lucas, TX
Pollination of dwarf wax myrtles in Lucas TX
I recently planted 3 dwarf wax myrtles then realized all were females. Do you know if the full-sized version can be used to pollinate the dwarfs? Any idea how close the pollinator needs to be?
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Lucas, TX
Propagating Eustoma exaltatum from seed in Lucas TX
Hello I know that Texas bluebells Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum are supposed to be difficult to start from seed. Does Mr. Smarty Plants have any helpful hints? Thanks!
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Lucas, TX
Green blooms on Cedar Sage in Lucas TX
I have two Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana) one purchased from your plant sale and one from a local nursery planted in part shade in the Dallas area. They seem to be quite happy and are blooming but ...
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Wylie, TX
Native flower bed with part sun
I have recently put in three small flower beds and replaced the hard clay with decent dirt. The site is shaded in the AM but mostly sun in the PM. I would like to plant natives - what can you recommen...
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Wylie, TX
Pruning Bald Cypress in Wylie, TX
I have a 6 year old bald cypress that sustained damage to the upper portion of its trunk a couple of years ago. Since that time it has grown more outward than upward and developed a rounder shape. I...
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Wylie, TX
How long do bluebonnets last?
How long do bluebonnets last? When should I no longer expect to see the beautiful state flower along the side of the road? I want to know how long I have to take memorable pictures of my children. Tha...
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Wylie, TX
Trees for screen around pool near Dallas
I am looking for a native plant to use around a pool to provide screening (I am putting in a 12 ft tall set of flag poles to suspend a sun screen the HOA wants me to block the flag poles) I have 8 ft ...
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Fairview, TX
Native plants under trees for privacy barrier in Fairview, TX
I am looking for suggestions on what to plant for a Privacy Barrier. The area in question is a shaded area under a tree line of about 200+ feet long. I am hoping for year round coverage. The canopy...
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Fairview, TX
Identification and replacement of chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach)
I am trying to identify and locate a native tree. We live in Fairview, near Allen, Texas. It is in bloom now. It has fragrant small lavender 5 petal flowers in clusters. They develop into yellow/t...
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Fairview, TX
Leaf fall from Cedar Elm planted in clay
I saw the answer to leaves falling off a cedar elm planted in clay. However I planted a Cedar Elm in my back yard. I dug a hole in the grass then planted and put grass back on top. I water every other...
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Allen, TX
Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
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Allen, TX
Tree roots breaking surface in Allen, TX
I live in Northern Texas, near Dallas. My questions concerns a tree in my front yard that now has roots that break the surface of the soil and grass. I would like to cover the roots. Should I cover...
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Allen, TX
Why doesn't my Possum Haw have berries this year?
A possumhaw holly has no berries as of mid-May. I planted this possumhaw last summer - it had lots of berries. Why would it have no berries this year? This spring I have two yaupons with lots of b...
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Allen, TX
Non-native bermudagrass in meadow in Allen TX
What is the effect of not killing or removing bermuda grass when converting an area to a prairie meadow in Allen, Texas? Most articles describing how to create and establish a prairie meadow suggest ...
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Allen, TX
More on bluebonnets
I want to go to the Willow loop north 7 miles or so of Fredericksburg to see the bluebonnets in bloom this year but don't know when the best time would be to see this spectacular view. I plan to be ...
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Allen, TX
Established Habiturf in the DFW area from Allen TX
Where can I see an established Habiturf in the DFW area? There are two sites that are obviously DFW (White Rock Lake and Round Rock) mentioned in Ask Mr Smartyplants, but no addresses. If no sites ar...
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Allen, TX
Yellow in pin oak leaves from Allen TX
I have two pin oaks and one is completely yellow - a sign of iron deficiency and the other is starting to turn completely yellow as well. I've a proposal for iron deficiency but it is quite expensiv...
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Allen, TX
Decline of indoor lemon cypress
I received a lemon cypress as a gift. I have kept it indoors in bright light and tried to keep it moist. When I received the plant the foliage was soft and now it has become brittle and dry even tho...
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Allen, TX
Non-native house plants stressed from Allen TX
I have three house plants that were plants I received from my father's funeral services. They were healthy for about two years and then we added some soil and now they are turning brown and appear t...
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Sachse, TX
Proper watering of cedar elm trees in Sachse, TX
I've just planted two Cedar elm trees in clay soil, each about four inches in diameter, and I want to water them correctly. I'm aware that too much water can be bad as well as too little water. I ...
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