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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 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!

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Magnolia Not Doing Well in Round Rock, Texas
I have a Magnolia grandiflora in my back yard, planted on May 20th of this year. Located on a western exposure with no shade and about 18' tall x 10' wide. I've been watering it every 3-4 days or ...
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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
Roots of live oak in lawn from Round Rock TX
I live on a cul-de-sac and have a small triangle shape yard. There is a large live oak in the middle of the yard. I am concerned because large bark covered roots have emerged on two sides of the tre...
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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
Habiturf for Round Rock TX
Topic Habiturf. We have just aerated our lawn. We were planning on throwing out bermudagrass seed. We already have bermudagrass as well as many weeds in the lawn especially the blue stem clump grass w...
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Round Rock, TX
Making a perennial cutting garden friendly to butterflies.
I would like to start a perennial cutting garden friendly to butterflies Where can I get a list of plants .
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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
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
Problems with non-native closet plant
I have three closet plants. All are putting on new growth and even blooming. However, the leaves are turning brown from the edges. What is the problem?
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Round Rock, TX
Plants for a moist, shady spot in central Texas
I am looking for a plant that will grow in almost full shade with plenty of moisture along a fence. We are looking at putting down some flagstone with possibly some moss growing in between, but we don...
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Round Rock, TX
Tree with light-colored bark, thorns and long white clumps of flowers
I bought a tree at the LBJWC plant sale a couple years ago but lost the name of the tree. I'm finally ready to plant it in the ground and would like to learn more about what its needs are. Can you ...
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Round Rock, TX
Mulching in deep shade in Round Rock TX
Central Texas: Problem is deep shade and high temps. I noted your advice about danger to the tree when planting beneath shade trees, but wonder if there is a substance - perhaps pine needles - that co...
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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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