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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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Round Rock, TX
Native buffalograss in sandy loam
I am in the Austin area and want to plant Native Texas Buffalo Grass in sandy loam from the Colorado River bed. Will this work?
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Round Rock, TX
Deer-resistant groundcovers for erosion control
I need a ground cover (vine??) that will help me with erosion on a sloped front yard. It gets about 6-8 hours of sun and my main need is for something that the rats in our neighborhood will not destro...
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Round Rock, TX
Non-native poinsettia care
I have a poinsettia that I have nursed from last Christmas. It is in big pot and looks really good. I'm trying to make it bloom. I have it out front with a sw exposure. I'm afraid of too much sun...
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Round Rock, TX
Native grass for Austin to sow in the early spring
What is the best native grass seed to plant in the Austin area? What is the best time of year to plant? I'll be planting in an area that has no real established grass.
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Round Rock, TX
Plant Identification from Round Rock TX
I am looking for the name of a ground cover I saw that looked like large bur oak leaf in a silvery green color. It was in the shade. I tried a search with no luck. Thanks!
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Round Rock, TX
Unknown pest of Texas Mountain Laurel from Round Rock TX
I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is being denuded from the top down by something unseen. It's not the Genista moth larvae, as there are no worms and no webbing visible. The only clue that it might...
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Round Rock, TX
Difficulties in growing iris in Central Texas
I live in Round Rock TX. I would like to plant Irises and have failed before. What type of irises grow best here? When should I plant them and should I add something to the soil to help them grow? ...
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Round Rock, TX
Fiber and dye plants at the Wildflower Center from Round Rock TX
When I visited the Wildflower Center recently I noticed a garden labeled as containing fiber and dye plants, but the individual plants and their uses were not all labeled. I would be very interested ...
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Round Rock, TX
Need advice on Angel Wing Begonia in Round Rock, Texas
My Angel Wing Begonia seem hardy and healthy; I keep them in bright, indirect light and feed them periodically with diluted fish emulsion. I keep them dry as opposed to moist. But they don't bloom. ...
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Round Rock, TX
Non-native begonias not blooming in Round Rock, TX
My angel wing begonias won't bloom. I feed them with fish emulsion. What is the problem?
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RoundRock, TX
Care and fruiting time of pumpkins
This is my first year growing pumpkin. I have a good vine with flowers now & then, but I still don't see a little pumpkin forming. What am I doing wrong?
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Round Rock, TX
Progress of Habiturf lawn from Round Rock TX
I sowed Habiturf seeds almost two weeks ago in well prepared soil--no grass or weeds, well tilled with compost. After sowing, I lightly raked the soil. I have watered twice/day, allowing it to dry s...
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Round Rock, TX
Soils for spiderwort from Round Rock TX
We have spiderworts growing naturally in our backyard. We put a large circle around them them with limestone rock (as our beds have) to make their own bed as they clumped in one area. What kind of s...
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Round Rock, TX
Chinaberry trees coming up volunteer
I have several chinaberry trees that have sprouted after my neighbor trimmed his tree. I have cut these trees down to the ground a couple of times, but they just send out new shoots. Any idea on how...
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Round Rock, TX
Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
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Round Rock, TX
Coconut in a husk from Round Rock TX
Looking for a coconut in its complete husk ?
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Round Rock, TX
Low maintenance, drought tolerant, native plants for school garden in Round Rock
Our school is about to plant a memorial garden but need very drought tolerant plants and flowers as the schools water very little during the summer months. What would you suggest? The district does ...
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Round Rock, TX
Decline in non-native crape myrtles
I live in Round Rock and the ground is rocky about one foot beneath the surface. I have about 14 crape myrtles that have been doing very well for about 6 years now. Last year the leaves on 1 started...
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Round Rock, TX
Native grass for Round Rock, Texas lawn
Hello, I just moved into a new place and the grass in the back yard is very spotty. I would like to know the best seed to put down to cure this problem. Thank you.
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Round Rock, TX
Conversion of patch of bermuda grass to native perennial garden in Texas
My wife and I want to take a section of our front lawn that is currently in Bermuda grass and plant some native perennials with lots of flowers. The area will be a quarter-circle in a corner of the la...
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Round Rock, TX
Disease or insect damage on a Mexican plum
Help, Our Mexican plum tree is about 13-14 years old. Earlier this year we noticed the trunk is oozing black stuff and whole branches are dying off. We have watched as our beloved tree has lost most ...
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