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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.

Questions From Near You

Round Rock,, TX
Use of free cedar mulch in Round Rock, TX
Round Rock provides city residents free mulch to pick up. It is all cedar apparently. I am turning my now dead, mostly clay, very alkaline and rocky thin soil front lawn into a bigger flower bed of mo...
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Round Rock , TX
Propagation of native plants by seed in Round Rock TX
I'm trying to include more native and adapted low water use plants in the landscaping of my yard in Round Rock Texas. Due to a limited budget I've been collecting seeds from plants around the area ...
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Round Rock , TX
What blueberry cultivar is best for Austin, TX.
How do I know what blueberry bush to purchase for the best tasting variety that will grow in the Austin, TX area?
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Round rock , TX
Propagation of Blackfoot daisy seed
I have a three yr old Blackfoot daisy. How do you root Blackfoot daisy seeds? When is the best month to grow these seeds?
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Round Rock,, TX
Starting Antelope Horn Milkweed Seeds
I recently found a sealed plastic bag containing milkweed seeds in a cabinet drawer that I had gathered more than a year ago, (maybe two years ago). These are the "antelope horn" milkweed I think it...
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ROUND ROCK, TX
Plants for a children's playground
We have extensive native gardens on our 2 acre property, but my children want a garden of their own with plants they can hide under and that are good for imaginative play. Are there any native plants...
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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
Native Texas shrub for privacy screen in hot area
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a lot facing dead west which I'm sure you can understand is brutally hot in the summer. I'm putting in a pool in my backyard and would like to plant a native Texas...
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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
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
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
New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
We live on the west side of RR, near Cedar Park and recently bought three 15 gallon cherry laurels from a nursery. Started to plant them today as we bought them a week ago and noticed base of the trun...
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Round Rock, TX
Is Penstemon cobaea poisonous
Is Penstemon cobaea Nutt or Wild foxglove poisonous like real fox glove? It is on a playground and Im concerned that it may not be safe for children.
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Round Rock, TX
Protection of Mountain Laurel from Pyralid or Genista moth caterpillars
I have a Texas Mountain Laurel. Every year it is attacked by caterpillars. They form a bag for lack of a better word on the ends of the branches destroying the blooms for the following year. PLEASE...
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Round Rock, TX
Plant identification
Just blooming out here in the Austin metro is a square-budded yellow 'daisy' with puffy center. Very like a Huisache Daisy, but the margins aren't so toothed. It's VERY common in the Austin greens...
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Round Rock, TX
Gardening book for beginner gardener
What is a good gardening book for a beginner gardener who lives in Round Rock. Would like info for both vegetables and plants for landscaping. Thanks.
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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
Native grass for lawn in Round Rock, Texas
I am interested in your recommendation for the grass at my home. I currently have St. Augustine but have become very aggravated by it. I am looking for a low maintenance grass that I can replace it wi...
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Round Rock, TX
Need help with Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum
We have about five Dwarf Wheeler Pittosporum plants. All of them are mature and were doing well. I was on vacation for a week or so and when I came back I saw of each of them is plant 90% dead. The d...
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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
Control of Juniperus ashei
We have just purchased 2 acres in Burnet County at an elevation of 1604 feet above sea level. The land is almost flat, bedrock, with lots of Juniper, Cactus Apple and between these plants grasses and...
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