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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

Denton, TX
Native flowers from bulbs from Denton TX
I am slowly converting my landscaping to as much native regional plants as possible. Are there any flowers from bulbs that you could recommend?
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Denton, TX
Fragrant Texas wildflowers
Hello! I am researching native Texas wildflowers and I am looking specifically for flowers with a pleasing aroma. Is there anyone who has made a list that includes how the flowers smell? Do you kno...
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Denton, TX
Puppy-proof plants in Denton TX
I recently got a couple of puppies that stay outside in a fenced off area of the backyard. Of course, they love trying to dig under the fence and get out. I placed cement landscaping border stones alo...
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Denton, TX
Maple roots in lawn in Denton TX
I purchased a new home 4 years ago that came with a landscape package. There are 2 trees in the front yard that I think are red maple trees. I am now seeing their roots appear above the ground which...
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Denton, TX
Native vines for pergola in Denton, Texas
We ve built a pergola under our Post Oaks and Winged Elms. The soil is sandy, as you would expect with post oaks. Are there any native vines, hopefully with a pretty flower, that I might coax into g...
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Denton, TX
Perennial vine for full sun, Denton, TX
I would like to grow a perennial vine that would tolerate full sun during the day. A flowering or non-flowering is fine. I do NOT want anything that is poisonous, i.e. Carolina jasmine, since this w...
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Denton, TX
Problems with non-native impatiens in Denton, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, 4 weeks ago I planted a shady bed (2'x10') with impatiens for the third year in-a-row. Previously, the plants thrived & bloomed till November. Three weeks ago, something ...
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Denton, TX
Where are the Gulf Fritillary butterflies?
I have a beautiful passiflora plant that more of a bush than a vine, and I expected to see more Gulf Fritillary butterflies than I have seen this season (I've seen only a few over the months). My qu...
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Denton, TX
Are vines harmful to bricks and mortar?
I am really fond of native vines such as crossvine, coral honeysuckle, American wisteria and carolina jessamine. I love the look of vines on walls and I would like to add this to a landscape design. ...
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Denton, TX
Hanging flowering plants in part shade in Denton, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to hang 4"-6" pots with flowering plants from north-facing eaves. That area gets an hour or so of late-morning/noon sun. Also, my apt. faces a large courtyard so...
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Denton, TX
Plants to disguise plastic rainbarrels in dry shade
What plants would you recommend to disguise blue plastic rainbarrels in dry shade?
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Denton, TX
Why are there no monarch butterflies feeding on my milkweed
I brought a milkweed from LA that has orange and yellow flowers. I live in Denton, TX. I haven't seen any eggs from the monarchs yet. Do the monarchs live on different milkweed in TX? I looked up ...
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Denton, TX
Redbud leaves turning yellow in mid-summer
The leaves on our redbud trees are turning yellow. The yellow leaves are pale with no other spots and no dark veins. I don't know for sure which variety of redbud they are or how old they are (more t...
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Denton, TX
Transplanting Turks Cap, when and how
Mr. Smarty Pants - We have an enormous healthy Turk's Cap - not the lily, but the one with red flowers(Malvaviscus arboreus v. drummondii) It has also produced a new plant nearby. Please tell us how...
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Denton, TX
Plant that can move from outside to inside for Denton, TX
I am looking for a plant that is either native to Texas or is well acclimated to the Denton TX area that can move from a covered outside area to an adjacent indoor area behind large glass walls, to a ...
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Denton, TX
Taxonomy question concerning the Family Commelinaceae
Hi I have a question. Many people refer to plants differently, I have always used the Genus and species and rarely the family name..it is very confusing .. when a professional uses a name that is a co...
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Denton, TX
Distance apart to plant oaks in Denton TX
How far apart should I plant Pin Oaks and Shumard Red Oaks in our yard? All around us are native oaks, but our backyard has none. I want to create a "forest" that looks like they are native, but n...
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Denton, TX
Weed prevention in vegetable gardens
Mr.Smarty Plants - I know this isn't your area, but we have a vegetable garden that has been plagued by summertime weeds. Do you have a recommendation for a control plan we could implement during t...
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Denton, TX
germinating Gulf coast penstemon and purple coneflower
I'm interested in propagating gulf coast penstemon (penstemon tenuis) from seed. Do I have to mascerate the 'berries' to remove the pulp from the seed, and do I have to stratify the seed to get th...
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Denton, TX
Cherry trees in the North Texas area
Will cherry trees grow well in the North Texas area?
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Denton, TX
Small shrubs for flower bed in Denton, Texas
I have a small flowerbed that faces south on the front of my house. What small shrubs would be best in that situation?
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