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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

Taylor, TX
Thornless honeylocust trees for Taylor TX
I live in Taylor, Williamson County, in central Texas and I am interested in selecting trees for my backyard. I can't really explain (it may be my Midwestern roots), but I would like to plant three t...
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Taylor, TX
Care of Styphnolobium affine, Eves necklace
I have an 18 yr old Eve's Necklace tree that is dying from the "bottom up". It has only a few leaves at the very top of the tree. I have, connected to the gutter, a rain barrel from which the exc...
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Taylor, TX
Disease-resistant squash varieties for Central Texas
Can you give me names of some disease-resistant summer squash varieties available in Central Texas?
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Taylor, TX
Coloration problems with non-native nandinas and queens wreath in Taylor, TX
This year my nandinas are extremely red and my queen's wreath blossoms deepened in color before the first freeze browned them out. What would cause this? Thank you.
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Taylor, TX
Live oak trees buzzing in Taylor TX
Is it possible for live oak trees to make a buzzing sound? We have heard this sound under our live oak and were worried it was bees but we don't seem to see any. I also heard the buzzing under my mot...
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Taylor, TX
Replacing lawn in Taylor, Texas
I live in Taylor, Texas, just northeast of Austin, in the Blackland Prairie region. However, I do not live on a farm, but in town on a city lot of 1/3 acre. My soil is clayey, and currently I have a L...
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Taylor, TX
Picture of fungus on winecups in Taylor TX
My error! I rated your answer to my question as 3 stars. I did not know how the rating worked and I accidentally chose 3. Your response was great. I would like to send you a picture of the spores/f...
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Taylor, TX
Mystic Spires salvia in transplant shock
Hello. I live in Taylor, Tx. Just outside Austin, Texas. I recently planted mystic spires. One gallons and will receive the hot afternoon sun. All the research says they can tolerate this location. Th...
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Taylor, TX
Would there be wild buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) growing in Williamson County?
Greetings, I have done a "test planting" of buffalo grass in my yard. There are now some blooms (?) on the grass and I have noticed similar blooms on grass in two different places in the area (Tay...
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Taylor, TX
Growing non-native Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Central Texas
Hi. I recently moved into a remodeled home in Taylor, TX, and have experimented with Cabernet Savignon vines before. I have a 1/2 acre and a chain-link fence I want to put vines on. (I have a book o...
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Taylor, TX
Problems with winecups in Taylor, TX
I live in Taylor in Williamson County, Tx,. I have wine cups growing. They are lush and blooming, but I am now noticing what looks like spores forming under the leaves and the plants seem to be suffer...
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Taylor, TX
Karoo rose
Where would the Adenium obesum/desert rose/Karoo rose pictured in the Austin American-Statesman's Gardening section on 06/09/07 be available for purchase in or near the Taylor, Texas (76574) area?
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Round Rock, TX
Non-native, invasive Rapistrum rugosum
What is the name of the alien, spindly, yellow mustard that we see blooming around Austin now ? Is it Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) ?
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Round Rock, TX
Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Lines
We had a leak with our underground pipes near the meter box - the pipes are at least a foot or more underground. My plumber poured table salt on the pipes to deter roots from a nearby tree from gettin...
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Round Rock, TX
Red blister-like bumps on grapevine
I have just discovered red blister like bumps on a grapevine. It is on the leaves as well as the stems. What could this be? Will it harm only the grapevine or other plants as well? Thank you.
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Round Rock, TX
Native buffalograss in sandy loam
I am in the Austin area and want to plant Native Texas Buffalo Grass in sandy loam from the Colorado River bed. Will this work?
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Round Rock, TX
Is installing irrigation with Habiturf a good idea in Round Rock Texas?
Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri...
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Round Rock, TX
Need help with Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum
We have about five Dwarf Wheeler Pittosporum plants. All of them are mature and were doing well. I was on vacation for a week or so and when I came back I saw of each of them is plant 90% dead. The d...
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Round Rock, TX
Climbing vines non-damaging to walls in Round Rock, TX
Will fig vine tendrils grow into a stucco wall? Is there any climbing vine that won't damage a stucco wall over time?
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Round Rock, TX
Plant identification from Round Rock, TX
Although I do not believe the tree to be native I would like to identify it if possible. This tree was found in the Round Rock area. The blossom has five white (lite pink?) petals and a "spray" of...
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Round Rock, TX
Source for Hickory in Texas
I'm looking for a nursery in Texas that sells hickory trees. I've used your supplier links and gone through many, many websites of suppliers. However, the only nut tree anyone sells is pecan. I'...
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