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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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Round Rock, TX
Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
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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
Smarty Plants on forbs
What kind of plant is a forb? I see the term used frequently in reference to grasses (I think), but I can't figure out exactly what a forb is.
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Round Rock, TX
Groundcover for vineyard from Round Rock, TX
I will be planting a vineyard in the Hill Country next spring. I am looking to maintain low-growing understory plants across the entire vineyard to maintain soil health, choosing plants that the leaf...
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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
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
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
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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