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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

Plano, TX
Good evergreen screen and some shade plants for Plano Texas
We live in Plano Texas. We have 15' between our house and our neighbor. We want to plant a divider/screen of something evergreen, about 6-15' (6-8' is better) and narrow, about 2-3' wide between t...
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Plano, TX
Mountain laurel with new leaves or new seed pods
Each spring, my Texas Mountain Laurel seems to put new leaves only on selected branches (actually trunks), and put on seed pods on other trunks. It seems to be mutually exclusive: trunks with new seed...
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Plano, TX
Rabbit-proof Plants for Texas
Do you have a list of flowers that rabbits will eat or will not eat so I know what to plant or avoid? I have a year-round rabbit population in my neighborhood and wish to co-exist with them without t...
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Plano, TX
Habiturf care from Plano TX
Five weeks ago, we planted a Habiturf lawn in our back yard. The grass looks great and is already about 6 inches. I have two questions to solve before we do the front yard. We have lots of purslane m...
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Plano, TX
Drought tolerant plants native to Plano, TX
I live in Plano Texas. We have drought conditions and I would like to redo our landscape with flowers that can handle Texas weather annually. My desire is: 1. Year round blooms 2. The ability ...
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Plano, TX
Is Sucissa pratensis (Devil's bit scabious) allelopathic?
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center pointed me to you. Can you comment on Devil's Bit Scabious? A neighbor pointed out these volunteer plants in my yard and wants me to kill them. He called them Devi...
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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
Will molasses harm beneficial organisms in my garden?
If I use molasses in the garden, I am hoping this will NOT kill the beneficial nematodes and my earth worms, or other good bugs such as lady bugs? Thanks.
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Plano, TX
Obtaining seeds for mutant white bluebonnet
I have seen a white bluebonnet in Brenham on Easter and wondered how rare the white ones are and how you get seeds for those. Are there any special directions on collecting seeds for planting next fa...
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Plano, TX
Germination of Texas wildflowers in jiffy pots
My daughter is planning to grow a Texas Wildflower (indoor for starters) garden for a project. We recently purchased seeds from your store. Will planting them in jiffy pots be sufficient to sprout t...
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Plano, TX
Ground covers for play area in Plano, TX
Is there a ground cover that would work under and around a swing in our front yard in Plano, Texas. It would get morning sun and dappled shade from a trimmed live oak in the afternoon. It would need t...
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Plano, TX
Chigger Control in Habiturf from Plano, TX
We converted our back yard in Plano, Texas to Habiturf last spring/summer and have a nice lawn; however, for the first time since we have lived in this house for 32 years, the lawn was full of chigger...
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Plano, TX
Are Eve's Necklace seeds poisonous to dogs from Plano TX
Are the seed pods on eve's necklace poisionous to dogs?
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Plano, TX
Eliminating bluebonnets from lawn
I need to know the best way to eliminate bluebonnets which are growing in my yard. My HOA is pursuing legal action against me to prevent me growing the plants. I can't afford to "resod" my yard. Ca...
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Plano, TX
Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas
I just built an in ground pool in Plano, Texas and now want to landscape around it on my own. I am curious what plants/shrubs you recommend. There will be plants/shrubs on three sides of the pool. ...
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Plano, TX
Cotton plant for yard in Plano
I wish to plant a specimen cotton plant in my yard - will it grow in Plano, Texas, do you have any tips for maintaining them, and will they survive freezing temperatures?
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Plano, TX
Will non-native St. Augustine crowd out non-native bermudagrass in Plano TX
I have Bermuda sod via builder, looked great for 3+ years. then had crack house neighbors max weeds for 2+ years. Killing them (the weeds) had a toll on the grass. Now a fifth of the LOSER neighbor...
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Plano, TX
Ground cover for Plano, Texas
Looking for perennial seeds, maximum height 6 inches. Basically, a ground cover. Flowering would be nice but not #1 on list. Medium to maximum sun. Don't have the best soil, but fertilizer, sprink...
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Plano, TX
Native Plants for North Texas Container
What would you recommend for a large permanent plant for a large container (3' X 3') for Plano, Texas in the sun?
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Plano, TX
Wildflower seeds that do well in black clay soil from Plano TX
What native wildflower seeds do best in black clay soil? We live in Plano along creek w/ 8,000 sq. ft. in full sun. No manmade water source. Suggestions?
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Plano, TX
Medicinal plants in North Texas
Hi, I would appreciate some sort of list for medicinal plants in North Tx. I'm a photographer wanting to photograph this type of plant life. Thanks!!
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