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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

DALLAS , TX
I need a tall tree with kind roots for a narrow space
We have a space in the yard where a building is within 3 to 6 feet of where we would like a tall tree. What tree could achieve two stories in height, while not messing with the foundation of the bu...
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Dallas, TX
Wildflower seed for west central Texas acreage
We have a ranch in central Texas between Brownwood and Brady and want to plant wildflowers that will grow in that area. We'd like to cover acreage and need information on what mix would suit our are...
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Dallas , TX
Fourth-grade research on Texas Wildflowers from Dallas, TX
Mr. Smarty Plants, Hello, I am a fourth grade teacher and my students are about to begin a project on Texas Wildflowers. Some of the information they will require is the scientific name of the plant...
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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
When and how to prune lavender (Lavandula sp.)
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I have a Goodwin Creek Lavender plant that I planted last year. It did very well but my question is about pruining. It seems that there is some growth coming up now that it...
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Dallas, TX
Flowering annuals for Dallas TX
1. What Non-wildflower flowers (flowers that WILL bloom first year/within first 2-3 months after plant seeds)are recommended for Dallas, TX area that could tolerate part-shade, part-sun area? 2. What...
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Dallas, TX
Container plants for Dallas, TX
I need help with container plants that can endure being out in the full sun and don't need a lot of maintenance. I would prefer something that is about 2-3' at its height and has a rounded shape. ...
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Dallas, TX
Fragrant perennial plants for shade in Dallas
I am looking for shade-loving perennial plants to provide fragrance in my garden. What plants would you recommend for my North Texas (Dallas) garden that is fully shaded by huge pecan trees? My curren...
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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
Native plants to grow with Earth Kind roses
I garden on Blackland Prairie clay in Dallas. I am planning an Earth Kind rose bed. I am planning to add 3" of compost and 3" of expanded shale and to mulch with 3" of organic material, as recomm...
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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
Need drought resistant screen at Lake Whitney, Texas
Need drought tolerant shrub for use as screen at Lake Whitney. Will have to survive with little watering.
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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
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
Lawn care?
I had red yucca planted in my garden last May. They were trimmed back by my lawn care people last winter and currently seem to be slowly growing back. However, the red flower stalk is not growing ba...
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Dallas, TX
Yellow lupine-like flowers
I recently visited Hodges Gardens near Many, LA. There was a large plant, 2' tall with spikey yellow lupine-like flowers. Plant had hairy leaves and a big spread--I'm sure it is a wild perennial. ...
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Dallas, TX
Aesculus glabra var. arguta
I am building a trail for the city of Dallas and need 10-5 gal. Texas Buckeye Trees(Aesculus glabra var. arguta). I can not find any in north Texas or the Austin area. Can you help?
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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
Is Hibiscus coccineus still considered native in Dallas, TX?
Is Hibiscus coccineus still considered native?. I recently was told by someone with the Native Texas Plant Society that it was no longer thought to have crossed the Sabine naturally. Thoughts...
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Dallas, TX
Older leaves yellowing on Savannah holly in Dallas
I planted a Savannah Holly in Dallas, TX in the Fall of 2008. It has new growth and some white buds all over it, but some of the older leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. Is this normal?
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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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