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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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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
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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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
Plant that attracts butterflies, perhaps?
What is that one plant/flower in your Center that attracts wildflowers like crazy? It's got a cute name, not a Latin or Scientific name. I have the plant, but don't know how to make it spread.
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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
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
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
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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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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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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Plano, TX
Help, I know nothing!
Where can I find someone who can give me advice on my flowers, plants, trees and shrubs? I bought a house with a lot of flower beds containing many different varieties of greenery and don't know...
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Plano, TX
Turk's Cap not returning from Plano TX
My Turk's Cap has shown no signs of coming back this year as of March 31. I pruned to about 12 inches because it was so bushy last year and it was not mulched thru our harsh winter (10 degree low and...
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Plano, TX
Gaura drying out in Plano TX
My gaura plant of 3 years suddenly seems to be drying out and no longer green or blooming?
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Plano, TX
Perennial plants for butterfly garden
Hello, I live in Plano, TX and I am trying to create a backyard garden which will attract butterflies. I prefer bulbs and perennials so that I will not have to replant again and again like annuals. A...
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Plano, TX
Tropical plants for pool landscape in Plano TX
I have a small yard with a pool that I would like to tropically landscape. It faces west (lots of direct sun) and there is about a 3 foot parameter between the fence and the coping. Currently I have...
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Plano, TX
Transplanting Magnolia grandiflora
We just moved to Plano TX and there's a magnolia tree planted between our house and the driveway. (The tree is 7ft tall and it's about 7ft from the side of house and 4ft from the driveway) I alway...
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Plano, TX
Replacing hawthorn bush with muhly grass from Plano TX
I am thinking of replacing a hawthorn bush with a muhly grass plant or two in an edged area with river rock cover in Plano, texas. It is the black soil and not a sandy loam. We have a sprinkler syst...
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Plano, TX
Best place for picking wildflowers in Austin
Where is the best place to find wildflowers for picking near or in Austin around the end of March?
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