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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Questions From Near You

Round Rock, TX
How to sow Eves Necklace seeds.
I have recently acquired some Eve's Necklace seed pods. In order to plant them, do I need to open the pod to get to the seed, or do I just plant the pod? Should I soak or scarify the pod/seed?
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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
Powdery mildew hits Rock Rose in Round Rock Texas
My beautiful Rock Roses have gotten spots of white fuzzy "fur" on their leaves in the past month. This is not something they have ever had before and I'm worried its some kind of disease. Is it so...
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Round Rock, TX
Locating red clay for wildflower seed balls
I am trying to locate a local source for the Powdered Red Clay spoke about in making wildflower seed balls. I live in Round Rock, Texas and have called many local nursery and no one knows what I am t...
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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
Propagation of American Bittersweet
Will American Bittersweet grow in Central Texas?
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Round Rock, TX
How can I control field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)?
I have identified my invasive as field bindweed. Your answer in FAQs has websites that are moving and I am unable to find out how to control this major problem. I use organics to garden. The recommend...
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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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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
Disease in non-native pittisporum in Central Texas
Is there a disease in central Texas (Round Rock) affecting dwarf pittosporum? Specifically, clusters of dead leaves and much leaf drop. Some white, cottony residue on wood but not sure if it is mealyb...
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Round Rock, TX
Landscaping in shade in Round Rock, TX
I have a flower bed that is 3' deep by 15' wide. It is in front of my front porch. Half of it only gets sun right now from about 3:30-5pm (a little filtered sun for maybe another hour). The other ha...
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Round Rock, TX
Native trees for revegetation project
We live in a MUD just outside of Round Rock Texas. There is a developer building apartments behind about 20 houses. Last year, we got the developer to agree to leave 20' of native vegetation in the e...
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Round Rock, TX
Effects of patio under large tree
I would like to put in a patio under a fairly large tree. I understand a tree needs some open ground around it for air and water. Can I use flagstone leaving 6-10 inches of space between the stones?...
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Round Rock, TX
Climbing vines non-damaging to walls in Round Rock, TX
Will fig vine tendrils grow into a stucco wall? Is there any climbing vine that won't damage a stucco wall over time?
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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
Groups promoting Edible Grasses
Is there a group of people who want to study and grow edible grasses? Thanks!
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Round Rock, TX
Identification of Tacoma stans or Yellow Bells
We have seen a plant along the freeway here in Round Rock...beautiful greens leaves and the most amazing yellow flowers. Someone told us it was an esperanza plant and drought tolerate; however, I can...
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Round Rock, TX
Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live on the west side of Interstate 35 in Round Rock. I have a very sick St. Augustine lawn that I would like to replace with some sort of wildflower mix. I like the look of...
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Round Rock, TX
Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
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Round Rock, TX
Protecting a new patio from oak roots
Hello, I have just formed up for a new patio. I have a Live Oak tree about 2' away from the patio. It has a trunk diameter of about 10", I believe 20-25 years old. Problem: I have 2 large roots in ...
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Round Rock, TX
Prospects for newly-seeded Habiturf lawn from Round Rock TX
Re: Habiturf installation Can you provide feedback about how my newly seeded Habiturf lawn should look at various stages? I think I prepped the lawn properly, but I may have planted too early (...
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