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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
How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
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Austin, TX
Will hand pollination of red plum tree result in fruits?
Red Plum is blooming but no bees to pollinate & no associate plum trees near by. Can flowers be pollinated by hand with q-tip?
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Austin, TX
Plants under Oak Trees in Austin TX
Half of my small yard is in the shade of one big live oak and one kumquat. Nothing I plant grows in this shade. The other half of my yard gets sunlight. It is planted with Jasmine grass which grows w...
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Austin, TX
Source for DNA sequencing of Opuntia species
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am trying to do a Opuntia speciation study, and rather just identifying the species by morphological comparison, I would also like to go a little deeper by comparing the DNA...
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Austin, TX
Lifespan of pecan from Austin
What is the lifespan of a pecan tree? I've seen several places say up to a thousand years, but I'd always thought it was closer to around 300 years. Thanks!
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Austin, TX
Hanging container for west-facing house in Austin TX
I'd like to put a hanging container in front of my house. The front of my house faces west and gets very hot in the summer time, with full sun in the afternoon/evening. What native Texan plants could...
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Austin, TX
Sticky material dripping from tree in Austin
The tree in my backyard is dripping what I surmise is sap - a thick,fdrake1@ sticky substance in July. What kind of tree is it and is there anything one can do prevent this from happening? Thank you...
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Austin, TX
Agarita and Mexican Buckeye not flowering or fruiting.
The Greenbelt behind our home has a ton of agarita and Mexican buckeye, but they never bloom or berry. The pigeon berry is very happily doing both all year. Any suggestions for helping the agerita a...
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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
Bluebonnet rosettes in July from Austin
Dear Mr S.P.: Please solve my bluebonnet summer mystery! I established about 1500 sq feet of bluebonnets starting four years ago by scavenging seeds here and there and just scattering in the sprin...
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Austin, TX
What is hollowing out my rosebuds in Austin, TX?
I recently noticed some of my rose buds had been hollowed out from the inside. I have seen no evidence of insect though. What do you think it is and how can I treat the problem?
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Austin, TX
Trees for privacy screen
Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually rea...
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austin, TX
Using a brush hog on acreage on Bear Creek in Austin, TX.
We have 8 acres off 1826 situated on Bear Creek. It has open areas with scattered large trees (cedar elm, live oak, white oak). Cedars or junipers only along the the lot lines. We've been told we...
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Austin, TX
Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, whi...
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Austin, TX
Has overwatering harmed cherry laurels in Austin?
I am so upset. I know we've been having a terrible drought this year in Austin, and I've been trying to balance water conservation with protecting our recent very large investment for massive lands...
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Austin, TX
Wildlife garden for Austin
I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
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Austin, TX
Pruning practices from Austin
I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
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Austin, TX
Native turf grass for Austin
I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
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Austin, TX
Seeds to scatter from Austin
Which seeds are good to throw and scatter on lawns or garden beds? Seeds that germinate easily, I suppose?
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