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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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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

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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Aledo, TX
Native plants for flower beds in Aledo, TX
I have 2 beds that together run the length of the house foundation (25' each), we have 2 spots I would like to plant a Yaupon (Pride of Houston) in each spot approximately 2' from the foundation;is ...
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Aledo, TX
Looking for an evergreen vine to grow on trellis as a privacy screen
Hello, I'm looking for an evergreen vine to grow on a free standing trellis. It is used as a screen on our back porch, so ideally we would not like to use anything that flowers due to the insects ...
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Aledo, TX
Getting rid of rain lilies in Aledo, TX
How do I get rain lilies to stop growing in my yard?
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Aledo, TX
Black bugs on yucca from Aledo TX
We have flowering yuccas that have thousands of small black bugs that seem to be hurting the plant. They are not on any other foliage in our beds. What do I use to get rid of them??
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Aledo, TX
Native shrubs to replace non-native boxwood in Parker County, TX
I'm looking to replace some Japanese Boxwoods my wife planted years ago with some native plants, they run along the front of our house next to the foundation and porch about 60' in length. I prefer ...
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Aledo, TX
Distance from wall to plant Eastern red cedar
I want to plant a row of Eastern red cedar on the high side of a 2 to 2 1/2 ft large Pavestone block retaining wall, preferably as close to the wall as possible. We have put maybe 4-5" of gravel beh...
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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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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
Non-native Podocarpus macrophyllus in Ft Worth TX
I know this question does not pertain to a native plant but I've spent too much time not finding an answer to my question. I have many mature Podocarpus macrophyllus bushes at my house I purchased in...
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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
Sources of Scutellaria drummondii
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I purchased a purple skullcap, scutellaria drummondii in the Hill Country last year. It has done REALLY well here in Fort Worth and would like more, but cannot locate it anywhe...
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Fort Worth, TX
Will non-native poisonous oleander grow through non-native invasive bermudagrass in Ft. Worth?
I was wondering if you knew which flowering plants would grow through grass. I have bermuda, have tried raised beds but due to uneven yard with lots of rock it would be too expensive to do properly. ...
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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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Fort Worth, TX
Smog-eating plants from Ft. Worth TX
Looking for a list (40 >) of Native Texas Plants for Fort Worth Urban (Condo) that are Drought tolerant or (drip irr) and Fragrant and long blooming and eat up the city smog. Fort Worth is in a non-at...
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Fort Worth, TX
Firecracker plants not growing in Ft. Worth
I live in Fort Worth, TX and last fall planted several firecracker plants. It's now June and they're not growing. How can I tell if they are still alive?
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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
Edibility of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) acorns
Is the acorn of the Bur Oak edible?
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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
Tree resembling live oak, but with thorns
I'm trying to ID a tree in our backyard, most of our trees are Live Oaks and the tree in question has a dark almost black and gray bark that looks just like a Live Oak. The leaves are similar but lig...
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Fort Worth, TX
Annual ryegrass and Habiturf from Austin
We've decided to put Habiturf in our freshly cleared back yard that was overgrown with sticky burs and crabgrass, but now that it is fall, would you recommend putting in a cover crop of annual ryegra...
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