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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
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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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
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
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
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
Getting rid of rain lilies in Aledo, TX
How do I get rain lilies to stop growing in my yard?
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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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Fort Worth, TX
Is scarlet buckeye (Aesculus pavia) poisonous?
Is a scarlet buckeye poisonous? Anna
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Fort Worth, TX
Is it illegal in Texas to pick bluebonnets? No.
Is it illegal in Texas to pick a bluebonnet?
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Fort worth, TX
Pride of Barbados seed for Ft. Worth TX
When can you plant the Pride of Barbados plant seeds and how to go about it in Fort Worth Texas?
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Fort Worth, TX
Plant identification
I had a strange plant pop up in my yard this year, and I figured maybe you guys could help me out. This plant is spreading along the ground, and the stem is woody right where it is coming out of th...
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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
Every plant in Texas
Do you know every plant in Texas? Alexis
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Fort Worth, TX
Plants for under non-native fruitless mullberry trees from Ft. Worth TX
I live in Tarrant county, where summer droughts are the norm. I have a 150x50 foot swathe of mature "fruitless mulberry" trees, which create a very shady atmosphere. The soil is clay dominated, ro...
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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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Fort Worth, TX
Possible reasons for yellow heads for Indian Blanket
I had Indian Blanket flowers that had almost pure yellow heads. Will the seeds of these flowers produce plants that will have yellow flowers?
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Fort Worth, TX
Are flower petals poisonous?
Is it toxic to eat the petals on a flower? Ashley
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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
Plant identification
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a plant that was given to me and told it was spider plant, but I don't believe it is. The plat grows up and has leaves coming out like a spider plant but they are gree...
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