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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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

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Round Rock, TX
Plant-related skin rashes from Round Rock TX
I have been plagued with persistent skin rashes this summer, and it is happening with plants that have never bothered me before, for example, red yucca. The dermatologist says it is a plant reaction,...
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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
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
How can I distinguish between Wax Myrtle and Dwarf Wax Myrtle?
I need help identifying between a southern wax myrtle and a dwarf wax myrtle. I am after the bigger type and think my landscaper accidentally put in dwarves. How can I tell? I had 8 put in and their l...
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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
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
Controlling scale insects on hollies
I have a number of holly shrubs at the side of my house. Recently I noticed that they have tiny white spots on them. I looked at several native Texas gardening books, but can't find what I need to t...
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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
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
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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Round Rock, TX
Information on non-native Leopard wort
I'm looking for information on the herbaceous perennial, Leopard wort.
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Round Rock, TX
Non-native, invasive Rapistrum rugosum
What is the name of the alien, spindly, yellow mustard that we see blooming around Austin now ? Is it Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) ?
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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
Native buffalograss for Round Rock, TX
Hi, I am wondering what the best Buffalo grass selection would be for Round Rock, Tx? I have about 400 - 500 Sq Ft that boarders the street that I would like to maintain as a natural type of environme...
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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
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
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
Red blister-like bumps on grapevine
I have just discovered red blister like bumps on a grapevine. It is on the leaves as well as the stems. What could this be? Will it harm only the grapevine or other plants as well? Thank you.
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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
Privacy screen for pool in Round Rock, TX
We have a pool in our backyard and neighbors quite close on both sides. There is only a cedar fence between yards and we are desperate for some privacy! We are looking for a fast grower that will gr...
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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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