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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
Will a Venus flytrap bite?
Will a venus flytrap bite a person? Taylor
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Fort Worth, TX
Need for smaller tree with less invasive roots from Ft. Worth TX
The sycamore in the front yard has developed roots larger than the branches. They have decided that the water and sewer lines are perfect to acquire their water from. For this reason it will be coming...
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Fort Worth, TX
Failure to bloom of coreopsis
Hi, 2 things..asked a question last yr re: scuttelaria (sp)-purple etc..you could not locate. Finally did at High Country Gardens in NM. Now a new question: Cannot get my coreopsis to bloom.. Have di...
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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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Fort Worth, TX
Tall privacy hedge in Fort Worth, Texas
I need a fast growing plant that reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet suitable as a privacy hedge. Prefer minimal maintenance and disease resistant. I have a 3 story condo being built behind my home in...
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Fort Worth, TX
Drought resistant small tree for Ft. Worth TX
I am looking for suggestions for a small tree (no more than 25 feet max)that is drought resistant but can handle a little irrigation and a lot of wind. Something showy is a plus. Grouped with salvias ...
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