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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!

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Questions From Near You

Dallas, TX
When Should Wildflower Seeds be Planted in Dallas, Texas
Mr. Pants: I have received some seed packets of wildflower seeds from GO TEXAN. How late can I plant these in central Dallas (8 a/b)?
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Dallas, TX
Why is non-native, invasive dandelion called a wildflower?
Why is a dandelion a wildflower? {I read it in a book.}
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Dallas, TX
Plants for dry containers in Dallas
I have four, rectangular, low to the ground, clay pots on either side of my garage. They face the west and I usually forget to water them. Cactus worked but I planted the kind with thorns! Any ideas...
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Dallas, TX
Can you grow wildflowers on a Zoysia greenroof?
I have a 700 square foot zoysia grass roof with irrigation on a pool cabana that I would like to sprinkle with wildflower seeds (bluebonnets, indian paintbrush etc) Is this possible? What is the best ...
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Dallas, TX
Greywater effect on plants from Dallas
How does gray water affect plants?
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Dallas, TX
Is a mulberry tree undesirable?
I have a hard time keeping plants alive, so I was happy when a random plant just started growing and thriving about 5 years ago in my yard. My mom (a frequent volunteer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf...
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Dallas, TX
Nimblewill grass for a shady area in Dallas
i have a very shady backyard and reading some of your post I think Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) will survive. Two questions: Is it drought resistant? Where can I buy the seeds?
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Dallas, TX
Smarty Plants on Wildflower Meadow Gardening
Good morning! I want to overseed a buffalo lawn that has been down for about a year with a wildflower mix, how would you recommend that we prepare the site.
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Dallas, TX
Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
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Dallas, TX
Grasses and flowering plants for Dallas
I have an area of morning sun next to my house about ten feet deep. I would like to mix a fairly tall grass with two other plants, flowering. What are some of your suggestions?
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Dallas, TX
Spots on leaves of Esperanza from Dallas
Have a new 1 foot high Esperanza. It is flowering OK (so far) but it has small rust colored spots about the size of a B-B all over most of the leaves. On the top side of the leaf the spot is depress...
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Dallas, TX
Texas native plants for cemetery site
I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
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Dallas, TX
Potential danger of oak wilt in live oaks in Dallas, TX
Do you have or know of any recent publications that discuss a potential oak wilt problem in live oaks in the Dallas area? We strongly believe that live oaks have a great landscape value and are tryi...
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Dallas, TX
Native grasses or sedges for a border in Texas
I am in the process of gradually replacing some of my landscaping in Dallas Texas with native Texas plants. Your website has been very helpful. I now wish to replace a liriope border, which has cro...
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Dallas, TX
Prairie remnant threatened by non-native Queen Anne's lace in Dallas
A blackland prairie remnant is being invaded by Queen Ann's Lace. What are the best, least chemical, methods of getting rid of it without damaging the native grasses and wildflowers? Thank you!
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Dallas, TX
Controlling erosion with grasses in Dallas, TX
After consulting with several geological engineers and the city of Dallas engineers - we know that our severe erosion problem can only be fixed by building a 35' foot high gabion wall about 150' in ...
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Dallas, TX
Replacing St. Augustine grass from Dallas TX
Dear Mr. Pants, we are replacing dying St. Augustine grass in a small, sunny back yard with ground cover. What are your recommendations for a drought-tolerant evergreen ground cover? We will till a...
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Dallas, TX
Plants for narrow moist shade in Dallas
We are looking for plants in a narrow strip next to our house. It is a shady area that holds a lot of water. We would love plants that would help take water out of the soil. Do you have any suggest...
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Dallas, TX
Pollinators of Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree)
What are the pollinators of Bauhinia lunarioides? Also, is it a host plant for any butterfly or moth caterpillars?
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DALLAS, TX
Flowering and fruting of Texas wild plums and where they grow
Could you please tell me about Texas wild plum trees—when they flower, when they bear fruit and where they grow.
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Dallas, TX
Smarty Plants on earliest blooming wildflowers
For Spring, what are the earliest blooming wild flowers and when do they typically bloom? I know it's terribly early to be predicting these things, but any idea if the 2005 Bluebonnet crop in Austi...
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