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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
Non-native, invasive Asiatic Jasmine from Austin
Is Trachelospermum asiaticum considered a native texas plant? Is there an example growing at the Center that can be viewed?
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Austin, TX
Ants and garden plants for Austin
I am needy of companion plants that compliment and work well with the Lantana, Mexican Heather , and in the new beds that I am preparing where I was thinking in part to have passion flower (though is ...
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Austin, TX
Where do snake herb and skeleton-leaf goldeneye get their names?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Where does snake herb, and skeleton leaf goldeneye get their names from? Thank you.
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Austin, TX
Ground cover under trees from Austin
I need ground cover plants that can tolerate leaf litter and grow under oak tree shade.
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Austin, TX
Nitrogen Fixing plants for Austin Texas
I recently saw a piece on Central Texas Gardener recommending winter covers to fix nitrogen such as elbow rye, hairy vetch, and crimson clover. Can you recommend a native plant that will grow through...
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Austin, TX
White snails in Austin, TX.
We walked through an undisturbed site off of Hwy. 71 near Old Bee Caves Rd. and there were little white snails on the majority of the plants on site (not specific to certain types of plants). What typ...
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Austin, TX
Information about Turk's Cap for school project
Hello, my name is Veronica. I am doing a Species Study on Turk's Cap at Clint Small Middle School in the Green Tech Academy. I would like to learn more on my Native Texas Species. I am contacting you...
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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
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
Dirt at tree base from Austin
Hello, I recently bought a home in Austin with a live oak tree which is about eight years old. The previous owner did exactly what all the experts say NOT to do, which was to mound dirt right up agai...
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Austin, TX
Care for some non-native salvias from Austin
Mexican bush sage and Salvia "indigo spires" are both blooming in my Austin beds right now. Once they stop blooming and/or frost gets them, could you tell me by how much they should be cut back? R...
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Austin, TX
Trees suited for rocky, caliche soil of Central Texas
I need to replace aging ashes. I have planted 2 Monterey oaks, but I would like to know what else I could plant whose roots will grow well in NW Austin caliche, rocky soil? Thank you.
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Austin, TX
When to stop mowing Habiturf for seeding from Austin
I planted a native Habiturf lawn in my back yard last spring/summer and it is doing very well. The how-to mentions allowing the turf to seed out once per year to help maintain the lawn. Is there a bes...
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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
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
Why are my Rock Roses dying?
I planted several rock roses last fall. This spring they have grown wonderfully, but all of a sudden, one shriveled and died. I took it out and replaced it. Now, another is starting to shrivel. It ...
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Austin, TX
Is horseherb toxic to chickens in Austin, TX?
My yard is almost completely horseherb (straggler daisy, calyptocarpus vialis) and I am hoping you can tell me if this is safe for chickens to eat? As common as it is here, there is nothing I could fi...
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Austin, TX
Arizona centaury near Lost Maples from Austin
I found a clump of Arizona centaury growing/blooming beside a road near Lost Maples State Nat. Area in the Texas hill country last week. Centaurium calycosum is the scientific name. I have 2 questio...
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Austin, TX
Persimmon trunk grown around fence rail in Austin
I have a Texas Persimmon in my backyard that is about 12-15 feet tall. It's been growing next to a chain-link fence and over the years, the top rail of the fence has cut into the bark on the trunk. A...
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