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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
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
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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Austin, TX
Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
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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
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
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
Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
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Austin, TX
Native trees of Hornsby Bend in Austin, TX
We are looking for a list of the trees occurring along and in the vicinity of the Colorado River at Hornsby Bend circa 1820.
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Austin, TX
Identity of plant that looks like green onions
I have what looks like green onions growing in my lawn. They have small white flowers. Are they edible?
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Austin, TX
Death of non-native eleaegnus from Austin
We have a long hedge of elaeagnus, about 5 ft tall. Four of them died in the middle of the hedge. Where can we find such big plants? Is it advisable to unroot and transplant from another area?
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Austin, TX
Pruning Trees in Austin, TX
I have lots of green growth sprouting on the trunks of mature trees. Should I trim them off?
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Austin, TX
Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the infl...
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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
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
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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