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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
Identity of plant that smells like passion fruits at Westcave
Green greetings! I saw a plant in the canyon at Westcave Preserve last weekend. They are small bushes with elliptic leaves. They are impressive because the leaves smell like passion fruits. Do you hav...
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Austin, TX
Petals on Black eyed Susans not developing from Austin
I just read Barbara Medfords response to undeveloped petals on perennial black eyed susans and was disappointed not to find a better explanation. I have had the exact same thing happen to mine, and I...
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Austin, TX
Is purple bindweed good for a screen growing on a fence?
We cleared a bunch of dead trees and tree limbs (mostly cedars and some oaks) on our semi-rural property in Driftwood and now we're left with an undesirable view onto the neighboring property. We're...
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Austin, TX
Dieback of river fern and maidenhair fern in the Texas summer
My river fern and maiden hair fern are dying back. I know it is hot, but they are in shade and watered regularly. The river fern is dying back from the tips. Any fungus or bugs I should be looking ...
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Austin, TX
Plants toxic to horses in Travis County, Texas
What plants/weeds are toxic for horses in Travis County?
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Austin, TX
Souce for Glass Mulch in Austin
Is there a special reason that broken glass is used in the courtyard flower beds? It's beautiful, wondering where to purchase some.
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Austin, TX
Non-native photinias dying from Austin
I have some red tip potinias that are dying. The ends of the branches are dying and the leaves are turning brown, I don't think this is the fungus that affects most red tips, any clues?
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Austin, TX
Identity of plant with white flowers and serrated leaves in creek bed
I have a wild fall blooming plant, white flowers, serrated leaves. Growing abundantly in my dry creek bed. Any thoughts?
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Austin, TX
Cedar sage not blooming in pots in Austin
I have cedar sage (salvia roemeriana) in containers on a dappled-shade apartment patio in Austin, TX. This is their first season here, transplanted in May (it's now September). All the plants have be...
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Austin, TX
Bark problems with Monterrey oak from Austin
I planted a 65 gallon Monterrey Oak (White Oak) in my front yard in February of this year. I water it once a week. All of the leaves and branches appear very healthy and there is no discoloration....
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Austin, TX
Type of non-native parsley for swallowtails from Austin
What is the best type of parsley for Yellow Swallowtails? Lost a caterpillar when it ran out of food from a parsley plant. I can't remember what kind of parsley. It would not feed on Rue, cilantro...
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Austin, TX
Disagreement on amending soil for planting from Austin
In today's newspaper column, you answered a question about transplanting a redbud. You said to follow the instructions on the WFC web site, except you recommended adding compost to the backfill soil....
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Austin, TX
Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.
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austin, TX
Bird nest fungus in Central Austin, TX.
Hi, I live in Central Austin and have different types of ground cover (such as silver pony foot)in my garden and have noticed huge patches of bird's nest fungi in between and under. Every time it ...
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Austin, TX
Pecan trees too close together in Austin
There are two pecan trees in my central Austin yard. Each is four or five inches diameter at chest height and maybe 15 feet tall. They are within six feet of each other and their canopies interfere wi...
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Austin, TX
Potting soil mixture at Wildflower Center from Austin
What potting soil mixture does the Wildflower Center use in its greenhouses for the native plants grown for the Austin Native Plant sales? Is the pH adjusted to match the alkaline soils in this area? ...
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Austin, TX
Identity of very tall plants in Austin, TX
I have these huge tall plants. They don't seem to want to bloom and they are shading out my other natives. They get very tall. 10 feet or so. What is it?
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Austin, TX
Passiflora and Leucophyllum together in Texas
I've got a Passiflora incarnata that has self-propagated around a cenizo sage. My question is, will the passionflower vine choke out or otherwise damage the cenizo? Do I need to cut back the vine? ...
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Austin, TX
Tiny holes oozing sap from Austin
My ash tree becomes loaded with butterflies on the trunk. At closer inspection, I see they are drinking sap which is coming from small holes in the trunk. Are the butterflies creating the holes? I ...
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