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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!

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Questions From Near You

Georgetown, TX
Are brown junipers (Juniperus ashei) dead?
If the cedar/junipers in our area are brown, will they ever come back green? Or just clear them out as dead. There are many of them due to the drought. Thank you.
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Georgetown, TX
Evergreen tree to provide block for treehouse in Central Texas
I live close to Austin TX and need an evergreen tree to block neighbor's newly constructed, metal roof tree house. It looms over our garden and yard - can you suggest a nice evergreen tree for hot m...
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Georgetown, TX
Non-native Chinese Pistache tree with dead branches in Georgetown TX
Have mature Chinese Pistachio tree with many dead branches and few buds forming so far this spring - has been beautiful for many years. Do you know why this is happening and what can be done about it...
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Georgetown, TX
Weed laws on mowing wildflowers in the Spring
Is there any law that would prevent a Town from making a person mow their wildflowers down in the spring?
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Georgetown, TX
Delay in fruiting of Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
Dear experts, My wife and i are members of your fine organization. Several years ago we bought four things at a spring plant sale for an understory spot in our yard. The Possumhaw Holly, American ...
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Georgetown, TX
Replacement for St. Augustine grass
I live in Georgetown, TX. I have an acre lot with many large Live Oak Trees. Currently we have St Augustine grass growing, but with the drought, it's not working out well with rainbirds putting down ...
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Georgetown, TX
Official list of invasive plants in Texas.
Is there an "official" invasive / noxious weed list for Texas? I have found several lists, but I wanted to know if there was one truly accepted list for Texas. If not, what would be the #1 list yo...
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Georgetown, TX
Esperanza failing to bud out in Georgetown TX
I planted esperanza shrubs last summer and they did well. I did not prune them back in the winter. They are not showing any signs of life (No greenery) Will the plants start to form leaves and flow...
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Georgetown, TX
Problems with non-native Weeping Japanese Red Maple
have a Weeping Japanese Red Maple. We bought if from a good nursery in the spring and planted it but now it is not red anymore. It is just greenish. Can you advise me what it is needing or any thing ...
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Georgetown, TX
Poor drainage in wildflower bed
I have a flower bed that has given me difficulty because it has poor drainage but typically receives sun for most of the day. Salvia gregii was the only survivors for the initial landscaping attempt. ...
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Georgetown, TX
Sedges or grasses for sun/shade in Georgetown, TX
I have an area that is part shaded (under oak trees) and part in the sun. I would like cedar sedge in the shaded areas (some is already growing there)but I can not find where to buy it. Do you know w...
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Georgetown, TX
Low growing native shrubs to go next to a rock pool deck
I have a pool surrounded by a rock deck, & want to plant some low-growing shrubs next to the deck. However, I want to ensure the root system of the plant isn't invasive enough to crack the rock deck ...
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Georgetown, TX
Disease on non-native French hollyhocks
I live in Georgetown, Texas. I have some French hollyhocks that have some kind of disease on the leaves - I would like to know what to spray them with to get rid of it. It looks like brown blemishes...
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Georgetown, TX
How do I preserve bluebonnet seeds for planting in another area?
How do I preserve Bluebonnet pods or seeds for replanting in another location?
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Georgetown, TX
Problems with non-native althea in Georgetown, TX
My white althea's leaves have a white edge, last year the bloom did not open. Is it sick?
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Georgetown, TX
Black spots and fuzzy circles on live oak leaves
We live in Georgetown Texas and have many Live Oaks on our property. Lately some leaves have fallen off which have fuzzy round circles on the back along with some little raised black dots. Should we...
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Georgetown, TX
Possibility of consuming Rapistrum rugosum
Reference: "Bastard Cabbage" (Rapistrum rugosum) Garden section of Austin American-Statesman (April 7, 2007) speaks of this weed. As a child, my parents used to pick, cook and eat this weed at the ...
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Georgetown, TX
Repairing damage to perennials from hailstorm
We just had a tremendous hailstorm north of Georgetown. The hail was being blown horizontally and my perennials were sheared off at the ground. Is there any advice as to how to help these plants reg...
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Georgetown, TX
Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
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Georgetown, TX
Resources on advisability of using native plants in landscaping
I'm a member of the Williamson County NPSOT. It came to our attention recently that the city of Georgetown is considering trying to be "friendlier" to native and natural landscaping. At this point ...
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Georgetown, TX
Watering schedule for sod lawn
We just moved to Georgetown, TX, where we have a 2-month old sod lawn (NOT Zoysia) that appears to becoming fairly well-established. We want to conserve water for environmental and financial reasons....
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