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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.

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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
Native plants to make houses for sale more attractive
I could use your suggestions: I have 2 small houses in Dallas which I am trying to sell, and would like to beautify -- with plants. Currently there are no shrubs or groundcover or trees -- nor anyo...
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Dallas, TX
English Garden in Texas from Dallas
I am introducing perennials to my rose beds, and would like help for an English Garden look in TEXAS!!! (stump the expert!!) One plant I am interest in, as it provides blue (which roses don't) is m...
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wildflower driving tours in Texas
I am looking for suggested wildflower driving tours in Texas. Do you perhaps have a listing of suggested driving routes one might take for a day or two in order to view the Springtime wildflowers? A...
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Dallas, TX
Ground cover for Dallas in shade and partial shade
What ground cover plants will grow in full shade- partial shade in the clay soil of Dallas?
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Dallas, TX
Listings of the native plants in Texas
What are the native plants in the state of Texas?
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Dallas, TX
Ivy for wall cover in Dallas
I am trying to cover older apartments with Ivy to create a beautiful exterior look, but after reading several articles on how the Texas Sun kills Ivy, I would like to know what plant can I use to crea...
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Dallas, TX
Names of native plants in Garland, Texas
We are building a new Assisted Living & Memory Care community in Garland Texas. We typically name the different floor plans after trees, plants or flowers indigenous or native to the area. Can you pr...
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Dallas, TX
Wine from Ampelopsis arborea?
Hello, can you eat or make wine from the fruit of Ampelopsis arborea? I have found a few vines that are very fruitful and are ready to pick!
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Dallas, TX
Texas native plants in an indoor space in Dallas
Is there a native Texas plant that would be suited for an indoor application, such as large planters in a lobby space?
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Dallas, TX
Getting started in gardening
Does the center publish any or several planting guides to help gardeners get started? I find it is overwhelming understanding where to start. I have some lake property in East Texas close to Athen...
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Dallas, TX
Seeding wildflowers in Dallas
What is the best way to establish seed for wildflowers in Dallas, TX? The area does get some irrigation from rotors. Would hydromulch be the most effective option?
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