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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
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
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
How close to a female tree will a male Possumhaw Holly need to be planted to ensure pollination in Plano, TX?
I would like to plant a female Possumhaw Holly in my yard. Does a male need to be planted nearby in order for the female to have berries? If so, how close must the male tree be located?
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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
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
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
Smarty Plants on caliche
I have heard of sand, silt, clay, and loam, but what is caliche?
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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
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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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
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
Landscape planning in Plano TX
I am devouring everything on your website and am so grateful that you put your knowledge and experience out there for all of us. Thank you!! I am trying to make a landscape plan for our Plano, TX b...
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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