En Español
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.

Support NPINHelp grow the Native Plant Information Network by giving to the Plant Database Fund or subcribing to Wildflower magazine.

Subscribe online now
Mr. Smarty Plants would give Wildflower magazine two thumbs up...if he had two thumbs.
Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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

Pflugerville, TX
Shaping of native hawthorns
I have three young hawthorns that were propagated from a nearby Blackland prairie stand. If I limb them up, will that encourage them to branch more near the top, or will it just ruin the form altoget...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Maximilian sunflowers in a container in Pflugerville, TX
Can Maximilian sunflowers be grown in a container? How deep and wide would it need to be? Am considering growing them in a stock tank elevated on bricks, with drain holes.
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Pruning oaks in August from Pflugerville TX
Can I do minor pruning on my Lacey oak and bur oak in August if it is hot and dry? I'd like to prune one limb from each. The Lacey oak limb is about 2 inches in diameter, and the bur oak limb is ab...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Grass at Wildflower Center with purple glow
What is the clumping grass along the WFC meadow trail that has a seedhead resembling bermudagrass and a glow similar to purple three-awn when backlit by the sun. I saw it yesterday (Oct. 2) and wonde...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Using a stock tank as a planter for Maximilian sunflowers in Pflugerville TX
I am going to re-phrase a question I asked last week, because even though I tried to be very careful, I posed it in a way subject to misinterpretation and thus did not get an answer. So here goes: I...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Pot on a pillar in a pond in Pflugerville
No question: Just a thanks to Barbara. You can't imagine how hard I laughed when I read the interpretation that I was going to plant Maximilians in a pot on a pedestal in the middle of a pond!!! S...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Guide for plants for landscaping in Central Texas
I am new to Texas and want nothing but native plants. What is the best book or guide so i can see the plants, flowers, shrubs and trees and know best what part of the yard to plant them in? I live i...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Controlling weeds in Buffalograss in Pflugerville, TX
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, After a visit to the wildflower center a few years ago, my husband and I decided to do buffalo grass from sod in our new house. We love the way it looks, but I've been neglec...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Overwintering possumhaw seedlings indoors in Pflugerville, TX.
Can possumhaw (Ilex decidua) seedlings be kept indoors over the winter? The goal is to protect them from deer and there is no other good option (i.e., no protected outdoor porch, etc.), unless you ca...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Top soil dressing for bermudagrass
Need to apply top soil dressing to bermudagrass. Can you suggest any type? This area is heavy clay soil and need to even out the lawn as well as feed the grass.
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Flashing barrier to Bermuda in tree bed
I'm building a 6-ft-diameter planting bed on a gentle slope on blackland clay, at the center of which I plan to install a cedar elm. I'm using the wedge-shaped stones from the home-improvement stor...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Growth rate of trees
What is the growth rate of the following plants. (How wide and tall each year? They are all in 1 gallon pots right now.) 1. Agarita 2. Anacacho Orchid 3. Silk Tassel. Is there anything that can be ...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Wildlife uses of wildflowers in Central Texas
How are wildflowers in Central Texas used by wildlife?
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Collecting seeds of Anemone berlandieri, windflower
The recent rainy weather has produced a small colony of what I have identified from your web site as Anemone berlandieri Pritzel (Texas Anemone) in my backyard. Is there a way to harvest these seeds f...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
More on bluebonnets
How are bluebonnets used by wildlife?
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Low growing, flowering evergreen plants for Pflugerville TX
I am wondering if you can suggest some low growing, flowering evergreen plants for my garden.
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Potential allelopathy of cultivar of Artemisia ludoviciana
I recently submitted a question regarding allelopathic potential of artemisia ludoviciana on rusty blackhaw viburnum, not specifying that I meant Vibernum rufidulum. Mr. SP interpreted my viburnum as...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Is Artemesia ludoviciana allelopathic?
I recently read that Artemisia ludoviciana is allelopathic to some other plants. I planted some last fall between a rusty blackhaw viburnum and a Mexican buckeye. Do you know whether it is phytotoxi...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Inland sea oats as backfrop for pigeon berry
I am thinking of using inland sea oats as a backdrop for pigeon berry (Rivina humilis) in a shady area along my foundation. Will this combination work, or will the sea oats outcompete the pigeon berr...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Removing grass under oak trees in Pflugerville TX
I would like to use the newspaper-and-mulch method to smother grass under the canopy of live oaks, a bur oak, and a lacey oak so that I can plant natives that will thrive there. However, I'm concern...
view the full question and answer

Pflugerville, TX
Texas frogfruit vs. non-native St. Augustine grass
Can Texas frogfruit resist invasion by St. Augustine grass, or will I need to create a barrier?
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center