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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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
Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
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Austin, TX
Identity of small objects that look like tiny pecans
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am doing my science fair project on acorns. Last year I measured how many acorns and other nature-y stuff fell into a baby pool from a live oak tree in my backyard every ...
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Austin, TX
Plant for total shade in Austin Texas
Most of north wall of my house is in total shade. Is there a native that will grow there? The nonnative Cast Iron Plant is thriving and the soil is good. Your list of plants requiring 2 hours or less ...
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Austin, TX
Speed of growth on plants from Plant Sale from Austin
Hello, I recently attended the native plant sale and bought several plants for a sunny curbside bed in central Austin. Due to financial constraints I stuck with the 3 inch varieties so I could buy 3 ...
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Austin, TX
Managing a wet area in Austin
I suspect that my backyard lies at the very top of a creek watershed. However, all of the water flowing through it gets blocked by a solid stone wall. Whenever we get a significant rain event, part ...
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Austin, TX
Tree removal from Austin
Unfortunately we need to cut down a Spanish oak (11" diameter, over 50 feet tall) that is leaning against our upper story deck (if it falls, the roof, deck, and steel supports may be crushed). A lim...
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Austin, TX
Grapevine at the Wildflower Center
Hello :) I recently visited the Lady Bird Wildflower Center for Goblins in the Garden. I'm curious if you all know exactly what type of grape is growing in the back of the garden near the "Heali...
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Austin, TX
Growing Dwarf Yaupon Holly in Texas
We planted 10 extra dwarf yaupons in our Austin front yard. They were identified as 'Gremici' dwarf yaupon. I googled them to get more information about them in order to determine why five have di...
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Austin, TX
Need help with a fungal disease in oak trees in Austin, TX
Two adjacent oak trees in my yard are showing distinct symptoms of Sudden Oak Death. Most notably, the lowest ten feet of their trunks have several bleeding cankers with thick, tarry ooze and no accom...
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Austin, TX
Winter care of Asclepias tuberosa from Austin
We have several asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed). Monarch caterpillars have found and denuded them. We are excited about all of the Monarch caterpillars, but unsure of what to do next. What do we...
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Austin, TX
Removing invasive Dichelostemma firecracker plant from Austin
We have dichelostemma firecracker plant & cannot kill it. We need help in getting rid of this plant. Spent another 3 hours digging up corms this afternoon. It is invading our backyard & want it kil...
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Austin, TX
Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area ...
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Austin, TX
Identification of willow-like tree
Hi. My daughter is trying to identify a native tree that is like a "scrub" tree here in pastures in Austin, Texas (for a school project). It sort of looks like weeping willow, but most aren't very ...
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Austin, TX
Dividing non-native daffodils from Austin
The foliage on my daffodils is lush and healthy, but I have no blooms. Should I divide them?
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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
The Pros and Cons of Using Stone Mulch for Plants and Wildfire Safety
I am trying to grow native plants that are wildfire-resistant. I want to avoid the use of flammable mulch -- especially in beds next to the house. I'm considering river rock or crushed stone, but one...
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Austin, TX
Eradicating trumpet vine runners in Austin
How do I eradicate trumpet vine runners from my lawn? Will it kill my pecan tree?
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Austin, TX
Need a native pine tree for Austin, TX.
Is there a native pine tree that you would recommend for the Austin, Texas area? We're considering the Colorado pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) or the Papershell pinyon (Pinus remota)? Would either of the...
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Austin, TX
Plants for attracting butterflies in Austin
My 9 year-old son is interested in finding butterfly eggs this Spring. His 3rd grade class is studying butterflies right now. I found a Wildflower Center article that lists several plants butterflie...
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