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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

Joshua, TX
Problems with volunteer tree in Joshua TX
I have a 'volunteer' tree which has been in our back yard for about 15 years. It has had the usual traumas, ie. lots of snow, ice, etc. but after last years drought, its bark is coming off and sev...
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Joshua, TX
Plants for full-sun landscape
I live in a very rocky area just outside of Fort Worth, TX. It's taken me all spring, summer & now I'm going into the fall, to landscape just 30 feet in front of my house. The front of the house get...
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Mansfield, TX
Phyla nodiflora as a ground cover
I'm considering using frogfruit in my lawn and between stepping stones. However, I'm concerned about it being invasive. The tree is in the front lawn and don't want it to take over the Bermuda law...
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Mansfield, TX
Native alternatives to St. Augustine for under an Arizona Ash
I live in Mansfield, TX. We have a large Arizona Ash tree in our back yard. No grass will grow under it. We are thinking of laying sod (St. Augustine) there. Is this a good solution and if so, whe...
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Mansfield, TX
Hardy, inexpensive perennials for Mansfield, TX
I am trying to fill two flowerbeds that are in full sun mostly and right next to the house. I want something that can live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and is pretty hardy. I also don't want to spe...
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Mansfield, TX
Xeric landscaping walls in Mansfield TX
We have two stone, concave 10 ft. high entry walls to our private street. These are each 20 ft. in length and face the west. What xeriscaping accent plants would you recommend. Also, should we crea...
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Mansfield, TX
Climbing vines for partial shade in North Texas
I've read your recommendations for climbing vines in partial-shade, but requestor was from Central Texas (Austin-area). Would those recommendations hold true for North Texas (DFW area)?
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Mansfield, TX
Moving non-native globe willow in Mansfield TX
I have a globe willow that we planted in a little landscaped area out front of house not realizing how large top would get. Can I move the tree without damaging it? It is about 9 ft tall, 5-6 ft wid...
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Mansfield, TX
Will Butterfly Plant Survive in Mansfield, Texas
I have a butterfly plant that was very successful (about 4 feet tall) right up until the cold snap three weeks ago. I've read they have a tap root, so I'm hoping it will come back next spring. Mea...
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Mansfield, TX
Removal of Ashe juniper trees
I have 15 acres with scattered huge oak and elm trees with tens of thousands of Ashe Juniper (cedar) trees 2 to 10 in diameter growing within the drip zone of the hardwoods. How do I take out the c...
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Mansfield, TX
Problem with oak trees in Mansfield, Texas
We have lost 2 large oaks last year & now another is nearly gone. It has several large patches of missing bark - beneath a thin layer of skin-like membrane that seemed to separate it from the bark i...
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Benbrook, TX
Question about non-native bottle brush bush
I have a bottle brush bush it has not bloomed. I have had it about 6 months planted in the ground. I am worried it may not. can you tell me what you think. thanks lori
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Fort Worth , TX
Time to sow wildflower seeds in Ft. Worth TX
When do I sow wildflower seeds?
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Fort Worth , TX
Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
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Alvarado, TX
Trimming freeze-damaged Agave Americana in Alvarado TX
What is the best way to trim Agave Americana cactus? The freeze this winter when it snowed has caused the leaves to die towards the bottom of the plant.
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Fort Worth, TX
Where to find Yarrow for sale in the area of Ft. Worth TX?
I'm very fond of the native plant called "Yarrow." Where might I find this in the Fort Worth area, and what are the tips for growing it. Seems like I saw it in one of the gardens at the LBJ Wildf...
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Fort Worth, TX
Need source for garlic to plant in garden in Fort Worth, TX.
Where can I get or purchase a native Texas garlic to plant in my garden?
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Fort Worth, TX
A garlic plant with only one clove in Ft. Worth, TX?
Is there a garlic that does not have cloves? I have been using what appears to be garlic from my garden and it is garlicy, hot and delicious. I have spent many hours online but cannot find this garlic...
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Ft. Worth, TX
Controlling Straggler Daisy
Is there a barrier I can use that will keep Straggler Daisy under control so that I will not be a problem for my neighbors?
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Fort Worth, TX
Arctostaphylos Hanging Basket for Texas
I would like to plant an Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in a hanging basket with a coco liner. Will this work, or will the roots grow too long? it's the 'Massachusetts' cultivar.
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Fort Worth, TX
Seep Muhly in limited sunlight.
Can Seep Muhly withstand just 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight in an urban setting?
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