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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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Questions From Near You

Del Valle , TX
Plants that survive Central Texas weather
What type of plants survive the Central Texas region weather for summer and winter?
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Del Valle, TX
Replanting members of Rosaceae family in same spot
HI Mr. Smarty Plants We had two apple (yellow fruit) trees besides out house and they died. Is it ok to replant in the same place with other trees without being afraid something is wrong with the soi...
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Austin, TX
Lilies not blooming from Austin
Last December 8, you published a letter in the Statesman that I had written to you regarding Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, and Copper Lilies. The were sprouting in my garage in a bag. You recommended...
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Austin, TX
Growing non-native grapefruit from seeds from Austin
Can you grow ruby red grapefruit trees from seeds?
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Austin, TX
Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
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Austin, TX
Is it normal for the bark to fall off an oak tree in Austin, TX
Is it normal for live oak bark to fall off when touched? I am afraid to get near them?
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Austin, TX
Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
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Austin, TX
Removal of live oaks leaves on lawn in Austin
We have about a half inch or so of mostly live oak leaves still on the ground which I thought was good root protection and also holds in moisture. There is a small group of people in our condo subdi...
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Austin, TX
Pruning practices from Austin
I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
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Austin, TX
Suckers from Oak Tree Roots in Austin
Hi. I am a home owner in Austin TX with several live oak trees. We love them and want to keep them healthy. We have a nice landscape in the back yard and Iím wondering if you can answer a quest...
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Austin, TX
Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if ...
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Austin, TX
Holes in trunk of Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
My Monterrey Oak (about 4 in diameter) has a problem. It started budding out and had a few leafs, then just quit. It had what I thought was new buds that would develop, but didn't. Then, the exist...
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Austin, TX
Source for non-native, invasive Winter Honeysuckle from Austin
Seeing Lonicera abiflora today reminds me of the "winter honeysuckle" my grandfather grew in San Antonio from 1920s or so through the 1950's. It was a bush with stiff upright stems and bloomed cre...
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Austin, TX
Wilting American Smoke Tree in Texas
I planted a young American smoke tree last fall (mid-November) and it put out a good show of tentative new leaves this spring. Then to keep the tree form I clipped some little shrubby start ups at the...
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Austin, TX
Landscaper recommends non-native zoysia in Austin
My landscaper recommends using "zoysia" grass throughout my new lawn, in full shade, partly shaded, and non-shaded areas, including in the gaps between leuder stone walks. I haven't heard about th...
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Austin, TX
Survivors of a Cedar Elm thicket thinning.
I thinned a thicket of cedar elm saplings, but a few are now leaning excessively. Will they straighten up over time or should I go ahead and cut them too? Thanks!!
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Austin, TX
Plants resistant to white-tailed deer from Austin
Could you tell me whether American Beautyberry and Blackfoot Daisy are usually eaten by our Austin white-tailed deer, or not? I get different answers in different publications. It would be great to ...
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Austin, TX
Few bluebonnets on MoPac in Austin
The grass fields along Mopac from Lake Lady Bird to Southwest Parkway usually have a grand display of bluebonnets. This year I do not see any color at all. Can you help me understand what is happening...
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Austin, TX
Need suggestions for plants to put between stones on a path in Austin, TX
I am looking for plants to put between stones on a path, which are low-an inch or two, green, low water and tolerate full sun in Austin, Texas
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Austin, TX
Chlorosis on plants in Austin
I have several plants that have chlorosis on the new growth. I did an at-home basic soil test. Ph came out at 7.5 (the highest the scale went, so it could be higher than that). Nitrogen and phosphorus...
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Austin, TX
Food for butterflies in Austin
Mr. Smarty Plants, my kids and I are raising Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars but it's still too cold to release them (oddly cool spring we're having!) If they mate and lay eggs, what loc...
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