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

Questions From Near You

Round Rock, TX
Is installing irrigation with Habiturf a good idea in Round Rock Texas?
Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri...
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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
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
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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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
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
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
Information on non-native Leopard wort
I'm looking for information on the herbaceous perennial, Leopard wort.
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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
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
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
Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Lines
We had a leak with our underground pipes near the meter box - the pipes are at least a foot or more underground. My plumber poured table salt on the pipes to deter roots from a nearby tree from gettin...
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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
Mowing Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss)
Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Although I see you have posted some information about mowing Buffalograss it doesn't seem to answer my question. Will it hurt to mow the buffalograss flags off? Will t...
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Round Rock, TX
Is a permit needed to plant liveoaks on property or on easement
My house is located behind 1431 in Williamson county My backyard faces 1431 hwy and the noise and view aren't pleasant. I'm trying to plant some live oaks behind the wall and, of course, some in m...
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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
Plant identification from Round Rock, TX
Although I do not believe the tree to be native I would like to identify it if possible. This tree was found in the Round Rock area. The blossom has five white (lite pink?) petals and a "spray" of...
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Round Rock, TX
Fertilizer and application for live oak trees
What do I use to feed live oak trees? How do I apply the fertilzer?
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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
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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