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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
Green cyst-like growths on Texas persimmon leaves
We have a mature Texas persimmon. We just noticed some green cyst-like growths on the tops of some of the leaves. The undersides of those leaves have black spots where the growths are. They looks like...
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Austin, TX
Trimming of turkscap
I have a Mexican Turk's cap, it is in its second year of growth and is doing well. However, I feel a need to prune it? do I need to?
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Austin, TX
Problems with Cedar Elm in Austin, TX.
Our Cedar Elm has yellowing very dry leaves and something is eating the topmost leaves leaving holes and obviously chewed off leaf segments. Could this be two different things? Aphids and bacteria or ...
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Austin, TX
Lighting for the Wildflower Center from Austin
Hello Mr Smarty, On a recent night trip to the Center, there was an oak that was beautifully lit for the holidays. It seemed to come from one ground light, but cast hundreds of glistening "stars"...
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Austin, TX
Growing Texas wildflowers indoors for a March wedding from Austin
I have learned so much from this site! Thank you! I am getting Married this March and I am hoping to use Texas wildflowers for the centerpieces. I hope to grow them in containers indoors and have the ...
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Austin, TX
Something dripping from red oak in Austin
There is a large red oak outside my apartment. The leaves are shiny and covered with what appears to be oil. The ground underneath is coated with this also. When I parked under the tree my car beca...
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Austin, TX
Maintenance of milkweed from Austin
I help plant and maintain a Monarch Waystation Garden in San Leanna, Texas (South Austin). Should milkweed plants be cut back during the winter? Last year we cut them back a bit late and some died c...
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Austin, TX
Yucca rostrata needs some help in Austin, TX.
We planted an expensive 5-6 foot Yucca rostrata last fall. It bloomed beautifully in the spring. We installed an irrigation link to water the recently planted areas with succulents, viburnums, spart...
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Austin, TX
Mexican species Orbexilum melanocarpum.
This is not a question; just a note to supplement a previous MSP post answering a query about a source for Orbexilum. The "mountain pea" that the original questioner was asking about is the e...
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Austin, TX
Bringing upright a leaning cholla cactus
I have a 3 ft. tall Cylindropuntia bigelovii that fell over after recent rains. I righted it and supported it with garden stakes for about a month. I was afraid to pull too hard on the low...
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Austin, TX
Starting yucca from seed from Austin
I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
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Austin, TX
Sources for native plants from Austin TX
Hello. I am currently planning a Texas native plant garden. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the seeds/bulbs/roots/plants for some of the natives at local nurseries: Indian Ricegrass (Achnatherum ...
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Austin, TX
Native lawn replacement for shady areas in Austin
Our front lawn was totally destroyed this summer during some remodeling construction. I am interested in replacing it with native grasses, but we have several oak trees that keep the area fairly shady...
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Austin, TX
Identity of shrub growing wild in Austin Texas area
Hi! I need help identifying a bush growing wild in my area. I have pictures of leaves fruit and bark. I cant find a good place to post these in order to ID plant. I'm in Austin TX area. Thank...
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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
Problems with non-native St. Augustine lawn from Austin
We have St. Augustine in our front lawn. There are some patches where the grass has entirely died but mixed in with the dead areas are little clumps of living grass. It seems to be spreading througho...
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Austin, TX
Native grasses for golf courses from Austin
I may be working on two different golf courses and wanted to know if any native or hybrid native grasses would work for the fairways and rough areas? The rough areas are no problem as a number of ...
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Austin, TX
Trimming of penstemon after bloooming from Austin
I planted a penstemon in my backyard last fall and it's doing great. Once the flowers have bloomed, do I cut the stalk back? It is about 2 ft tall and doesn't appear to be doing anything. I belie...
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Austin, TX
Habiturf lawn for townhouse in Austin
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in central Austin and on November 1st I will be moving into a townhome with a small yard of around 500 square feet. The yard has been neglected and currently looks to ...
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