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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

Jarrell, TX
Prickly cactus in Williamson County, Texas
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Can you tell me what species of prickly pear cactus we have here in Williamson County? I see two listed as being here in Texas. One is the Plains variety and the other is ...
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Jarrell, TX
Best Time for Dividing and Transplanting Native Bunch Grasses in Jarrell, Texas
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What time of the year is the best for dividing and transplanting native bunch grasses like Gulf muhly, and Miscanthus?
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Salado, TX
Growing Loblolly Pine in Salado, Texas
I would like to plant a loblolly pine in Salado, Texas. Will these grow well here?
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Salado, TX
Source for sod in Salado TX
Can you tell me where I can buy grass sod in Georgetown-Salado area? When I called Grass and More I got a non-working number recording. Thank you!
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Salado, TX
Care of a live oak with decay and perhaps fungus on trunk
I have a huge live oak on my property in Salado that just lost a very large branch. The branch had decay in the center and also has a variety of bugs in it, espeically since it has been on the ground...
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Salado, TX
Native ground cover for bare ground
I have a 20 x 40 foot partly sunny area that has only leaves covering the bare ground. I want to replace the leaves with ground cover. Can I mix ground covers like clover, asian jasmine, etc? I would ...
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Salado, TX
Straggler Daisy as a Groundcover in Salado, TX
I've identified Straggler Daisy or Horseherb as the plant to cover my 20 x 40 partly shady partly sunny lot. Could you provide me with the best method for starting and growing the plant to ensure it ...
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Salado, TX
Finding a source of Straggler daisy
I've decided on Straggler daisy but am having trouble finding it. It would be perfect for me. Do I have to wait until next Spring for it to show up? Can it be ordered through a nursery or a landscape...
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Salado, TX
Vinca as a groundcover
Someone told me that Vinca would be a great ground cover for my very large mostly shaded area. How can I establish it and where can I get it? Thanks in advance.
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Salado, TX
Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ...
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Salado, TX
Identification of blue flower
I have two similar (but obviously different) wild flowers growing on my property. I have pictures of each. What email address can I use to send them to you to identify? I thought one was blue-...
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Salado, TX
Wildflower seed balls
On one of the HGTV garden shows Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was featured. It showed how you could make little dirt balls filled with wild flower seeds and throw them around your land making i...
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Salado, TX
Need some help with a Buffalo grass planting in Salado, TX
Recently we planted buffalo grass sod in the spring of 2007. During the summer I had a problem with barnyard grass due to a lot of rain. During 2008 I had a problem with nut grass. I had been advise...
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Salado, TX
Yellowing leaves on Mexican Plum in Salado, TX.
I do live in Cental Texas (Salado) and I have the same problem with my Mexican Plum as the lady in Bellaire, TX. Mine was planted in June in a raised bed and receives sun all day long. Within the la...
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Weir, TX
Identification of Spaeralcea sp. Globe Mallow
Let's do it again....my computer had some "issues" and I lost your answer.... I purchased a mallow from the WFC about two years ago...I was told at the time they had not yet identified the plant...
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Weir, TX
Identification of a Globe Mallow
Mr. SP, Two or three years ago I purchased a mallow at the Wildflower Center that (I was told) had not yet been identified. I have looked at your pictures of Sphaeralcea hastulata which has the same ...
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Weir, TX
Removal of burned tree stump from Weir TX
Hello, I am the community manager for Country Glen, LLC In Weir, Texas 5 miles north east of Georgetown Texas. Simple question I need to remove a large Arizona Ash that was burned buy fire I need th...
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Bartlett, TX
Is mulch from hackberry and chinaberry trees safe for flowerbeds?
We had to remove several large hackberry and china berry trees. Is its mulch safe to use in garden and in flower beds?
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Bartlett, TX
Expanded Shale Availability in Austin Area
Where can you find expanded shale in bulk or bag in the Austin area?
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Bartlett, TX
Does Mexican plum require more than one plant for successful pollination?
Re: Mexican plums.. Do I need to plant more than 1 to ensure proper pollination? I have always been told that commercial plums need at least 2 to pollinate properly for consistent plum production. A...
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Florence, TX
Native Texas Trees from Seed for Fence Line
My parents have an unirrigated fence line on their property that they want to grow evergreen screening plants along. Given the difficulty of establishing nursery grown plants in such an unirrigated a...
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