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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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Questions From Near You

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
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
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
Late Blooming Wildflowers for Round Rock
I thought this would be a previously answered question but found nothing in the data base. My question is: in Central Texas what can be grown for some color or interest in a wildflower area when the w...
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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
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
Taxonomic question about Viola missouriensis and Viola affinis.
I have tentatively identified a violet as either Viola affinis or V. missouriensis. However, the pages for those species are dated 2007 and 2009, respectively, in the NPIN, while it read...
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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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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
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
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
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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Round Rock, TX
Native grass for Round Rock, Texas lawn
Hello, I just moved into a new place and the grass in the back yard is very spotty. I would like to know the best seed to put down to cure this problem. Thank you.
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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
Low maintenance, drought tolerant, native plants for school garden in Round Rock
Our school is about to plant a memorial garden but need very drought tolerant plants and flowers as the schools water very little during the summer months. What would you suggest? The district does ...
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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
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
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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