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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

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
Prosopsis velutina (velvet mesquite), Larrea tridentata (creosote bush), rain smell
I am an El Paso native living in Plano TX. I terribly miss the smell of rain in El Paso and have learned that this smell is due to the velvet mesquite tree and also the creosote bush, among other thi...
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Plano, TX
Toxicity of horticultural oils
Is T&S dormant oil spray a toxic product? Our church (Prairie Creek Baptist in Plano, Texas) is transitioning to organic/native landscape. This is the product used by the current lawn service. Also, ...
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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
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
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
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
Desert Willow tree for Plano, TX
I live near Dallas, Texas. I have a small Desert Willow tree that I would like to plant. What is the root system of this tree like? Would I be able to plant it near our patio? How far from the house'...
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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
Sun tolerant, rabbit-resistant plants in Plano, TX
I live in Plano, Texas and am trying to identify sun tolerant plants for my landscape that are also rabbit resistant. The rabbits have taken over and destroy pansies, marigolds, etc. I am looking fo...
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Plano, TX
Bur oak defoliation
I have a bur oak that was planted in 1993. In 2000, I had mortared stone edging (approx 5 inches deep) installed around the trunk from 4 to 6 feet away. In the last 3 years, the tree seems to be decli...
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Plano, TX
Smarty Plants on caliche
I have heard of sand, silt, clay, and loam, but what is caliche?
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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
Looking for nursery selling Wrights skullcap (Scutellaria wrightii)
I'm located in Plano, and am trying to find seeds or seedlings for a plant species I saw at the LBJ Wildflower Center in Austin. I'm looking for a blue-flowering ground cover plant that is called W...
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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
Using Native Plants Database to determine flowering time in Austin
How can I access your data base to learn what plants are flowering in Austin during the months of October and early November?
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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
Plants that will withstand spray from fountain and heat from concrete
Working on a property in Plano, I have an area around a fountain, surrounded by concrete, in full sun, that receives a lot of water that is blown from the fountain (which is treated with chlorine tabl...
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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
Small native flowering plants for Plano, TX
Suggestions for native flowering plants small enough for a border planting? I live in Plano TX, just north of Dallas. Zone 8.
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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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