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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 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

Decatur, TX
Planting time, either by acorn or container grown tree, of Shumard red oak
Hello, I have a question on when is the best time to plant shumard red oak. I live in Zone 7. thank you
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Decatur, TX
Native vine for shade on west side in Texas
I have just put in a trellis to cover the west side of my house for shade. What would be the best native vine to put their for quick growth. I plan on putting a rose (Fortunia) but can't do that till...
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Decatur, TX
Smarty Plants on wildflower meadow gardening
My local elementary school in Decatur, Texas (north central) has an open field of wonderful wildflowers in front of it. This year, they were mowed before the flowers went to seed. What is a good rul...
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PARADISE, TX
Encouraging native grasses to flourish
We have been trying to restore the yard around the house with native grasses and forbs for the last two years. The soil is clay and nothing seems to grow. We have distributed 5 truck loads of mulch, p...
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Paradise, TX
Grafting Pecan Trees
I have planted two pecan nuts and now they are about 4 feet tall trees, they have not been grafted but can I graft one of the trees to the other and vice versa and expect pecans from then, they are he...
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Bridgeport, TX
Vine to cover fence line in Bridgeport, Texas
We are looking for a year round vine that will cover our fence line. Flowering and non-flowering.
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Rhome, TX
Plant identification
I am trying to identify a wild flowering plant. It grows in pastures near Rhome Texas. How can I email a digital photo to you to look at it??
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Runaway Bay, TX
Ground cover for a sunny hillside in TX
For many years I have had two beds of English Ivy under medium size pine trees. Home is on a hillside, moderately rocky. Last Spring my yardman persuaded me to severely trim lower limbs of the pines t...
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Ponder, TX
Plants to stem bank erosion in Ponder, Texas
We have a pond with a bridge over the middle in full sun with a steep bank on one side. The bank is difficult to maintain and we need some natural looking low maintenance plants or ground cover to pl...
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Ponder, TX
Problems with Escarpment black cherry from Ponder TX
I have an escarpment black cherry that is about three years old and about 9 feet tall. It was healthy until this last summer when its began to bark peel and sap run out at the base of the tree. The af...
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Ponder, TX
Pipevine (Aristolochia sp.) found in Denton County Texas
I am almost positive that I have numerous pipevine swallowtail in my garden in Denton County, TX. I read that the host plant for the larva is almost exclusively pipevine. Would any kind of pipevine be...
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Ponder, TX
Does goldenball leadtree (Leucaena retusa) have thorns?
I have a plant that I am told is a native Texas plant, but the person I got it from could not remember its name. They said it was very hardy and drought tolerant. It looks a little like goldenball lea...
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Ponder, TX
Trees that are non-toxic for horses
I live in Ponder, Tx. We have some acreage and horses and wish to plant trees to afford some shade for the horses. Can you tell me what trees are toxic to horses.
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Springtown, TX
Identity of a plant that may be a horse apple (Maclura) in Springtown, TX.
I have a tree that I think is a crab apple, however, I can't find it in any collection on internet. The fruit looks like light green colored apples, however, they are very hard and very course textu...
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Springtown, TX
Propagating magnolias from Springtown TX
I am trying to find out how to plant Magnolia tree seeds and what has to be done with them prior to planting, if anything and what type of soil to use.
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Justin, TX
Problems with mature cottonwood in Justin TX
I have a very large, 90" circumference, approx 60' tall, cottonwood tree in my front yard that appears to be sick. The trunk splits at about the 4' level into 2 parts. at that split is a 10" wide...
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Krum, TX
Identification of red and black insects on Yucca
I have little red and black insects on my soft leaf yucca and I don't know what they are or how to get rid of them. They make the leaves rusty looking. Do you have any idea what they are or how I can...
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Krum, TX
Planting a Texas Persimmon in rocky soil in Krum TX
I have recently purchased a 10 gallon Texas Persimmon plant that I want to put as a highlight plant in my yard. According to the nursery, it has been in the pot for 2 years. I have been "blessed(or...
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Azle, TX
Grasses for shady area with sandy soil
We have very sandy soil, is there any type of grass that will grow well. Also, very shady.
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Haslet, TX
Plants tolerant of high levels of sodium and sulfur
I would appreciate suggestions for small shrubs and flowering plants that can survive the sodic soil conditions and western sun exposure of my front beds. We have had great difficulty finding anything...
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Poolville, TX
New gardener on lawn for Poolville TX
I have never had the opportunity to have a nice yard until recently when I got married. My husband loves a nice yard and we have worked very hard and put in hours of work. We are learning by trial a...
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