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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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Questions From Near You

Moody, TX
Identification of strange dark green blobs
In my back yard I have a type of plant with no roots only around in the summer and when it rains. It looks like a person took a piece lettuce and put way too much water into it and wadded it up. It ...
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Moody, TX
Bald cypress with chlorosis in Texas
I have a 6' tall Bald Cypress planted 2 years ago which just this year appears to be suffering from chlorosis. The tree was bought from a chain store. It receives some drainage water from my washin...
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Moody , TX
Differences between smooth bark and rough bark Arizona cypress
What is the difference between smooth bark Arizona Cypress and rough bark Arizona Cypress in terms of tree growth, form, foliage, etc.? Will one grow better than the other in the Waco area?
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Bruceville, TX
Native trees to replace dying Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina)
I have two 25-30 year old Arizona Ash trees in my front yard, which I think are dying. They are the only shade my house gets, and I am dreading losing them. (They are massive and beautiful) What are m...
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Troy, TX
Planting and growing bluebonnets
I am looking for bluebonnet seed planting suggestions. when? How? I found a source for seed. I want to plant about 2500 sq foot area.
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McGregor, TX
Esperanza turning brown in McGregor TX
Why are my Esperanza turning brown?
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Morgans Point Resort, TX
Deer resistant vines for trellis
We would love to have a blooming vine on our trellis, but the deer devour ever attempt. Please recommend something! Thank you.
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Hewitt, TX
When is the appropriate time to prune pecan trees in Hewitt?
Labor Day Weekend my husband decided to trim all the low branches on a big pecan tree in our back yard which I thought should had been done at the first of the year, our temprature is in the mid 90's...
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Hewitt, TX
Low evergreen drought-resistant shrubs for area in partial shade
I promised my mom to help her with some new plants for her house, so here goes. She lives near Waco on Blackland clay soil. The problem area is right in front of the house. It only receives a few hour...
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Hewitt, TX
Elimination of nutgrass
Nutgrass has taken over my vegetable and perennial garden to the point that I can not see my plants or granite sand paths. The two major areas are about 600 square feet in total. What can I do to co...
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Temple, TX
Yellowing of non-native eggplant in Temple TX
I planted egg plants in my raised bed garden for the first time this season. The plants are healthy and have produced a number of beautiful small white fruit with purple accent (spots). However, the f...
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Temple, TX
Eliminating non-native invasive Asian jasmine in Temple TX
Hello, behind my backyard fence there is a large growth (about 300 to 400 sq feet) of Asian jasmine. It was planted by previous owners. It prevents growth of native plants like holly. What is the prac...
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Temple, TX
Secretions of fluid from crepe myrtles
On my crepe myrtle tree I have dozens of 1/2-inch-long narrow bugs that seem to secrete tiny drops of fluid. They appear on the branches of the tree. Are these harmful to the tree? Do I need to do ...
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Temple, TX
Annual for poor drainage area in Temple TX
What annual would you recommend for a bed with poor drainage for summer color ?
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Temple, TX
Nativity of Lantana camara and Strelitzia reginae
I was wondering why Lantana Camara is not in the Wildflower's database. Multiple sources say it is native to the U.S. and North America. I was also wondering if Strelitzia reginae (Bird-of-Paradise...
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Temple, TX
Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
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Temple, TX
transplanting Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
Behind our house is a huge grotto with a spring flowing through it that runs into a creek. Because of the constant flow of water, there are many of the Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris). I ...
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Temple, TX
Flowering perennials beneath Ashe juniper.
Dear Sir: What type of flowering perennial plants will grow underneath Mountain Cedar and its pine needles? Thanks.
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Temple, TX
Identification of landscape plants at malls in Waco and Temple
Dear Mr. Smarty, I am trying to identify a plant used in landscaping for several shopping centers within the Waco-Temple areas. It looks to be large mounding grass, but flowers June-July with shaft...
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Temple, TX
Removing insects from seeds
I collect and plant native seed for Blackland Prairie restoration. Have recently collected a good bit of purple prairie clover. Now small beetles are hatching out of it in pretty good numbers. What ...
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Temple, TX
Transplanting Silverado Sage from Temple TX
Hello, I've got some mature Silverado Sage. Can they be successfully transplanted or do I need to buy new plants for the next residence? I have them planted in a raised bed. I realize that IF it is ...
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