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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
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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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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Austin, TX
Is Matelea reticulata invasive? Will it take over a crossvine?
I have 50 feet of fencing with a healthy crop of cross vine on it. Pearl milkweed (I believe it is Matelea reticulata) is growing into portions of the cross vine. Is the milkweed too invasive for th...
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Austin, TX
Bastard cabbage in Austin TX
Not sure if this is the forum to address this; but is there any effort out there to do something about the bastard cabbage taking over Austin? Especially on MoPac where you can hardly see the bluebon...
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Austin, TX
Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we...
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Austin, TX
Problems with Monterrey Oak in Austin
We had a local tree service plant two Monterrey Oak trees on 4/2/2012. At the time we noticed that woodpeckers had had a field day on the trunk bark of both trees with the most damage being on the lar...
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Austin, TX
Grasses for horses in Austin
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants We just bought 4.5 acres in Travis County off HWY 290. We have 3 horses we keep on it but there is very little grass in the pastures. What is the best type of grass to seed ...
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Austin, TX
Non-berrying possumhaw from Austin
I planted a possumhaw 8 to 10 years ago for the beautiful winter color, it has never set berries. I see tiny white flowers along the branches each spring, and always hope this will be the year, but I...
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Austin, TX
Trees and shrubs turning brown in Dripping Springs TX
Due to the extended drought - a number of trees and shrubs in our Dripping Springs area property have turned brown. Specifically: Live Oak; Agarita; Ash Juniper; Cedar Elm. Is this a dormant stag...
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Austin, TX
Lupines annual or perennial in Zone 4b from Austin
Are lupines treated as perennials or annuals in Zone 4b (Northeast) if they are planted in the ground? Will other native species of lupines grow in a region they are not native to? Any recommendations...
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Austin, TX
What to do about volunteer trees growing beneath a large live oak tree in Austin, TX
We have a large live oak tree. Several volunteer trees are growing directly underneath it and into its branches. I want to cut them down if they are going to hurt the long term health of the live oak....
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Austin, TX
Lily plants being chewed from Austin
Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
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Austin, TX
Origin of cultivar of Sophora secundiflora
Howdy, Mr. Smarty Plants! I am hoping you can shed some light on the origin of my silver-leaved TX Mountain Laurel, "Silver Peso". Some nurseries refer to it as a genetic variation of Sophora secu...
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Austin, TX
Graywater with soap on trees and shrubs from Austin
I previously asked you about using rinse water from our top loading washer to water trees and flowers. I have two more questions: Can I use the soapy water to water trees and shrubs? Then I get...
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Austin, TX
Why Did Gaillardia and Aquilegia Changed Color?
Both a Gaillardia pulchella and two red columbines bloomed normally last summer, but this summer the Gaillardia's petals are all yellow and one columbine is white and the other is yellow. What caused...
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Austin, TX
Would like a "try instead of" list for non-native plants in Austin, TX.
It would be so helpful if, when asked about a non-native plant, you would do a "try instead of" list. I have about 45 plants to reseach from my landscaping firm, and it's wearing me out to try to...
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Austin, TX
Winter groundcover for shaded backyard in Austin
I live in south Austin and have a shaded backyard. During the summer, the lawn died and the ground is now bare. I'd like to plant some kind of winter grass or ground cover that will hold the soil i...
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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
Watering a Chinquapin Oak in Austin, TX
I have a question about watering. I planted a Chinquapin Oak about 7 months ago and it's about 8 feet tall and doing well. I water it weekly on a slow drip for about an hour. I expect that my job is ...
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Austin, TX
Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
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Austin, TX
Agarita suggestion for Houston area
Another possible plant for the following question is agarita. The question: "Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Ro...
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