En Español
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.

Support NPINHelp grow the Native Plant Information Network by giving to the Plant Database Fund or subcribing to Wildflower magazine.

Subscribe online now
Mr. Smarty Plants would give Wildflower magazine two thumbs up...if he had two thumbs.
Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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

Austin, TX
Native landscape in Central Austin
We live in Central Austin and are landscaping part of yard. We planted a 30 gallon red oak tree, built sizeable beds around it and want to complete the landscaping with native grasses, shrubs, climbin...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Cool, wet summer effect on evergreen sumac
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 3 evergreen sumac bushes that I planted as a screen between my house and my neighbors two years ago. They are located in a part of our yard that receives a lot of runof...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Cottony infestation on Turk's Cap in Austin
The Turks Cap in my front planter is well-established and, overall, happy and blooming. However, some of the top leaves, those in the most shaded area, have what looks like a thin, loose layer of cot...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Insect infestation of plants, dog and home
I have plants that some kind of bug is killing them, my fan plam, ficus tree and other plants. The leaves are drying up and falling off. Apparently, they also are infestion my apartment. I feel them c...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Clear pungent, liquid oozing from oak tree
I have a large oak that over the last few days has been oozing a pungent, non sticky, clear substance from one specific site (no damage) about the size of a dime. It's attracting quite a few gnats, m...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Fertilizer producing leaves over flower production in Austin
Can you please list which Central Texas perennials' will favor leaf growth over flower production when fertilized? I have many in the "Grown Green" booklet and need to know which flowering plants s...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Transplanting suckers on Cenizo in Austin
Our large silverado sage has produced some volunteers, which are now about 1 ft - 1-1/2 ft tall. Is it possible to transplant them or has the taproot grown too deep for transplanting? Also, will the ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Deer-resistant plants for under cedar and oak trees in Austin
I have about 1.5 acres in southern Travis county. It's full of mature live oaks and cedar trees, and the soil is full of limestone. I've been gathering the limestone and using them to create raise...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
When to mow native prairie grasses in Florence, Texas
What is best time of year, if any, to mow a native grass prairie? 40 acre creek bottom planted with little bluestem, sideoats, prairie dropseed, love grass, switchgrass, bluegrama, sand dropseed plus...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Wildflower seeds to plant in summer in Austin
Are there any wildflower seeds that can be planted during the summer months in Austin, TX?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Disposal of non-native invasive clerodendron
What do you do about clerodendron that is spreading like wildfire. A friend gave me one plant before I was acquainted with invasives!!
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
How can I control underground runners from from Pride of Houston Yaupons in Austin, TX?
How can I control the underground runners from the Pride of Houston Yaupons?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Identification of native grasses little bluestem and switchgrass
If you drive east of Austin on Hwy 71, there is a bluish looking grass that has become very noticeable since the heavy rains in July. The blades grow straight up and each plant is in clump form. Do ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Garden crop to plant in July in Austin
I've just been given access to a plot at Sunshine Gardens and must plant something within 30 days. What would be a good planting crop for the middle of July that would be successful for harvesting i...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Transplant shock in Texas natives garden
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I thought that my new Texas Natives garden was recuperating from ALL the rain. But, suddenly, my Texas Red Bud and the Eve's Necklace next to it have MANY yellow leaves. Is the...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Getting rid of invasive grasses in backyard
Mr. Smarty Plants, How do I rid my yard of invasive grasses? I am finding Bermuda, stickers, crabgrass and maybe even Johnson grass throughout my backyard. The invasion is substantial in one 200+...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Deadheading Mexican hat to produce more blooms in Austin
I have several Mexican hat (rudbeckia) plants growing wild in my yard. Would deadheading now give them a second flush of bloom in fall?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Non-native invasive creeping fig on oak tree
I have a creeping fig in a pot that sits next to an oak tree. It took to the tree as a trellis and looks beautiful. My question is: is it doing the tree any harm?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Where can one learn about gardening with native plants
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Where can I go to learn more about gardening with native plants?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Need help with a Pecan tree that has been topped in Austin, TX.
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a pecan tree on my property that was topped by the previous owners. I have searched high and low for information on how to correctly prune a tree that has already been ...
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center