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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

Dallas, TX
Problems with non-native Chocolate Mimosa from Dallas
I have a Chocolate Mimosa I planted last spring. It came back strong this spring but suddenly the leafs have started turning brown and falling off, it gets watered every morning and I don't have a c...
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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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Dallas, TX
Plants for soils with extreme pH values
I am doing a project on acid and alkaline on the ph scale but all I can find is a range of 5.0 to 8.0. Do they have plants in the range of 8.0 to 14.0 or 1.0 to 5.0? If not, why is that? If so, what a...
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Dallas, TX
Grass to grow in the shade of pecan tree
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, We have an enormous pecan tree in our backyard that had grass underneath the breadth of the branches, but not around the trunk. The grass isn't doing well (though we did fai...
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Dallas, TX
Is a Texas Mountain Laurel too messy for swimming pool area?
Our landscaper has recommended a Texas Mountain Laurel to plant beside our swimming pool. We recently removed Cherry Laurels from the same location because of the mess they made in the pool (especiall...
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Dallas, TX
Trying to find a supplier for east Texas wetland plants
Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to find suppliers for native, East Texas wetland plants (edge and submerged) and can't seem to find any. Can you help?
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Dallas, TX
Erosion Control with perennials for a shady Dallas bank
Thank you for your help with turf or perennials on a shaded bank, 4000 sq ft, for the Dallas area that has good roots, grows in semi shade to shade, is on a steep bank so cannot mow, and flowers the l...
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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
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
Invasive Cissus trifoliata in Dallas
I have finally identified an invasive, stinky vine in my urban landscape as Cissus trifoliata. It was waxy leaves, small greenish flowers, and small black berries. It appears to spread with undergrou...
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Dallas, TX
Propagation of trumpet vines from Dallas
Can you tell me about trumpet vines, can they be rooted in water? I heard they reseed at the end of their growing season.
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Dallas, TX
Ornamental grass next to golf course pond
I need an ornamental grass or shrub that will grow on a terrace next to a golf course pond and be ~ 3' of height. The plant will receive afternoon sun, must survive periodic flooding in the spring an...
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dallas, TX
More on bluebonnets
What role did Mrs. Johnson play in preserving the bluebonnet, our state flower?
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Dallas, TX
Transplanting yucca pups from Dallas
Can I transplant Pup Yucca plants off of the main yucca and how do I cut them off?
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Dallas, TX
Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
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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
Need plants for full sun in Dallas Texas.
What plants are best to use for full sun in Dallas Texas?
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Dallas, TX
Propagating sundrop plants in Dallas
How do I propagate sundrop plants?
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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
Problems with Juniperus scopulorum in Dallas
Dallas, Texas - Juniperus Scopolorum "Skyrocket" Last June I planted six, five foot tall along my chain length fence by the alley. Full sun. One died within 6 months. The soil seems to stay damp...
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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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