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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

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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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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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
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
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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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
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
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
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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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
Plants for church gardens in Ft. Worth TX
Second attempt. Our church has many gardens in Fort Worth, TX. There are gardens for blue,red,yellow,white,purple,orange,pink,mixed,community garden,roses, and more. I am interested in the la...
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Fort Worth, TX
Name of the yellow wildflowers that gave Amarillo, TX its name
What is the name of the yellow wildflowers that gave Amarillo, Texas, its name?
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Fort Worth, TX
Picture of tree in Gilmer, TX cemetery
HELP . I am looking to find pictures of the beautiful tree before it was struck by lighting. The tree was in the Gilmer, Tx City View Cemetery ?
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Fort Worth, TX
Vines for pergola in Fort Worth
I just bought a pergola for back porch 12 x 10 that faces east so gets full morning sun, looking to plant vines for looks and help with shade. Would obviously like something that complements the pergo...
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Fort Worth, TX
Identity of maroon flower taking over bluebonnets
there is a maroon colored flowering weed at my ranch in Oakwood Texas. It is taking over the bluebonnets and indian paint brushes. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it.
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Fort Worth, TX
Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
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