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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

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
Grass for septic drainfield in Georgetown TX
We recently had a new septic drainfield installed. It is raised approximately 2-3 ft above ground level. I would like to plant it with a native grass/grasses that would attract wildlife yet still be a...
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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
Non-native Sandankwa viburnum (Viburnum suspensum) damaged by freeze
We live in Georgetown. My Sandankwa Viburnum seem to have been affected by the late freeze. There are now very few leaves and no flowers/buds. Should I cut the plants back, leave them alone, or giv...
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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
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
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
How do I preserve bluebonnet seeds for planting in another area?
How do I preserve Bluebonnet pods or seeds for replanting in another location?
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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
Will Copper Canyon Daisy be at the Plant Sale from Georgetown TX
Can you find out if Copper Canyon Daisy will be sold at the plant sale? I'm having trouble finding it in any of your databases. The scientific name is Asteraceae Tagetes lemmonii. It's a shrubby ...
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Georgetown, TX
Repairing damage to perennials from hailstorm
We just had a tremendous hailstorm north of Georgetown. The hail was being blown horizontally and my perennials were sheared off at the ground. Is there any advice as to how to help these plants reg...
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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
Yellowing leaves
What causes yellowing of native garden plant leaves?
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Georgetown, TX
Watering schedule for sod lawn
We just moved to Georgetown, TX, where we have a 2-month old sod lawn (NOT Zoysia) that appears to becoming fairly well-established. We want to conserve water for environmental and financial reasons....
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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
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
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
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
Native grasses to accompany buffalograss in shade
What grass goes with buffalo for shade/partial shade?
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Georgetown, TX
Disease on non-native French hollyhocks
I live in Georgetown, Texas. I have some French hollyhocks that have some kind of disease on the leaves - I would like to know what to spray them with to get rid of it. It looks like brown blemishes...
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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
When to plant bluebonnet seed
When do I put out Bluebonnet seed? Do I soak them first? Thank You.
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