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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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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
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
Plants for a container bog garden in North Texas
I live in Plano, just north of Dallas. I've developed a recent interest in water gardens and am considering getting my toes wet with a container bog garden. I have an old galvanized wash tub that I...
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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
Peeling bark on red oak in Plano, TX
I have a red oak that was planted 2 years ago. The trunk is approx. 5 in around. The bark around the bottom of the trunk is peeling off. At first we thought it was rabbits so we put some rabbit gua...
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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