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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Questions From Near You

Georgetown, TX
Low growing native shrubs to go next to a rock pool deck
I have a pool surrounded by a rock deck, & want to plant some low-growing shrubs next to the deck. However, I want to ensure the root system of the plant isn't invasive enough to crack the rock deck ...
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Georgetown, TX
Official list of invasive plants in Texas.
Is there an "official" invasive / noxious weed list for Texas? I have found several lists, but I wanted to know if there was one truly accepted list for Texas. If not, what would be the #1 list yo...
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Georgetown, TX
Need to identify white powdery substance on Wisteria in Georgetown, TX.
My wisteria shrub has a white powdery substance over the wood base. I have tried spraying a fungicide on it but have seen no improvement. Any suggestions?
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Georgetown, TX
Pollenless Cedar Elms for Georgetown, Texas
I am considering planting the Cedar Elm tree at my home in Georgetown, Texas. I was under the impression that only the female of the species produces the irritating pollen. Is this true?
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Georgetown, TX
Backyard bluebonnets in Georgetown, TX
I am growing bluebonnets in my backyard in Georgetown, TX. Even with the drought, I have had blooms all summer and still have two plants blooming. Is this normal? Thanks for all the work you all do ...
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Georgetown, TX
Wilting stems on beautyberry in Georgetown, TX
Last summer I discovered that a 4-year old beautyberry had one (of many) stems that died. Leaves on this single stem wilted and dried up. This year the same happened to two or three stems. The rest of...
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Georgetown, TX
Eupatorium serotinum (late boneset) for garden setting, care and propagation
What are the prospects for Eupatorium serotinum in a garden setting? What requirements does the plant have? How large does it grow, etc.
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Georgetown, TX
Poor drainage in wildflower bed
I have a flower bed that has given me difficulty because it has poor drainage but typically receives sun for most of the day. Salvia gregii was the only survivors for the initial landscaping attempt. ...
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Georgetown, TX
Will non-native Alchemilla mollis grow in Georgetown, TX
While living in Connecticut I had a favorite plant -- Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Mollis). Any chance I could grow it in my new herbaceous border in Sun City Texas (Georgetown, TX)?
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Georgetown, TX
Non-native ornamental peach purchased in Georgetown TX
I purchased an "ornamental peach" at a plant sale in Georgetown, TX. Only info it had on the tag: 6' tall. The leaves are long and narrow, burgundy, with serrated edges; is in a 1-qt pot. Any ca...
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Georgetown, TX
Purple sage with black residue on leaves in Georgetown TX
I have 2 very healthy tx. purple sage that have developed a black residue on some leaves, and is a "sticky" substance..any ideas what this is and how to treat???
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Georgetown, TX
Problems with non-native Weeping Japanese Red Maple
have a Weeping Japanese Red Maple. We bought if from a good nursery in the spring and planted it but now it is not red anymore. It is just greenish. Can you advise me what it is needing or any thing ...
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Georgetown, TX
Sources for Calyptocarpus vialis and Dalea greggii.
What are sources for 4" horseherb and gregg dalea? I've tried nurseries listed with NPSOT. Also, would using the above and maybe wooly stemodia and/or frogfruit together become a problem?
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Georgetown, TX
Deer resistant privacy fence for shade in Hill Country
I am looking for a shrub to plant along a privacy fence that gets 8+ feet tall, fast growing, preferably native, deer resistant, and can tolerate mostly shade. I reside in the Hill Country area. Tha...
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Georgetown, TX
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRANDYWINE MAPLE AND BIGTOOTH MAPLE - GEORGETOWN, TX
We live in the Georgetown area (north of Austin). We have a maple tree, that had a tag that read Brandywine. We wanted a bigtooth maple. What is the difference between what we have and what we want...
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Georgetown, TX
Replacement for Spanish Dagger from Georgetown TX
I have a Spanish Dagger plant in my garden which appears to be dying. Where can I purchase a replacement for this plant? The Spanish Dagger I have is close to 10 feet tall. What is the best way t...
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Georgetown, TX
Native grasses to accompany buffalograss in shade
What grass goes with buffalo for shade/partial shade?
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Georgetown, TX
Resources on advisability of using native plants in landscaping
I'm a member of the Williamson County NPSOT. It came to our attention recently that the city of Georgetown is considering trying to be "friendlier" to native and natural landscaping. At this point ...
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Georgetown, TX
Weed laws on mowing wildflowers in the Spring
Is there any law that would prevent a Town from making a person mow their wildflowers down in the spring?
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Georgetown, TX
Yellowing leaves
What causes yellowing of native garden plant leaves?
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Georgetown, TX
Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
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