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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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Questions From Near You

Austin, TX
Milkweed Seedlings Source for Austin, Texas
Where can I find seedlings or four inch pots of common milkweed? I have a backyard garden that is mostly filtered sunlight and space for them.
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Austin, TX
Drought resistance of non-native Abelia from Austin
Are abelias drought resistant? I have a spot that is sunny from early morning till about 2-2:30 in the afternoon. Is this enough sun?
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Austin, TX
Disposal of Ashe juniper from Austin
I am in western Travis County and we have been clearing our land of some of the Ashe Juniper. When there is not a burn ban, we burn them because there are just too many to shred. I was wondering if ...
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Austin, TX
Removing a non-native windmill palm from Austin
I have a fairly good size windmill palm (about 15ft high) that is planted too close to the house. I also don't like having to constantly remove its fronds as they block a walkway. Is there a good wa...
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Austin, TX
How to stabilize a slope under Red Oaks?
A portion our front "yard" (20x40 feet) is a limestone hillside shaded by 3 large spanish oaks. The small amount of grass holding onto the hillside is now gone from the drought, and the hill has er...
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Austin, TX
Problems with Monterrey Oak in Austin
We had a local tree service plant two Monterrey Oak trees on 4/2/2012. At the time we noticed that woodpeckers had had a field day on the trunk bark of both trees with the most damage being on the lar...
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Austin, TX
Death of non-native eleaegnus from Austin
We have a long hedge of elaeagnus, about 5 ft tall. Four of them died in the middle of the hedge. Where can we find such big plants? Is it advisable to unroot and transplant from another area?
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Austin, TX
Pruning Trees in Austin, TX
I have lots of green growth sprouting on the trunks of mature trees. Should I trim them off?
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Austin, TX
Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the infl...
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Austin, TX
South Austin Groundcovers for Oak Shade
Hi! I live in S. Austin now but used to work at the Wildflower Center! My backyard is shady with several oak mots. Do you have any suggestions as to what if any ground cover will grow in all that sha...
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Austin, TX
Is Robinia pseudoaccia a good replacement tree for Shumard oaks in Austin TX?
Recently two of our Shumard trees in the front of our house died. Both trees were small/medium in size having only been growing for 13-17 years. I've been reading about Black Locust trees which accor...
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Austin, TX
Controlling sandburs from Austin
Hello, What is the best way to prevent sticker burrs from growing in a rocky bed with no grass. There are many other plants we want to preserve and a drip line to keep them watered. We have 2 small k...
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Austin, TX
Pruning pink skullcap and rock daisy from Austin
I have some pink skullcap and rock daisy and other plants in my yard that never entirely die back over the winter. Can you tell me what kind of pruning is appropriate? How far can/should I cut them ...
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Austin, TX
Grass installation with plugs from Austin
As much as I would love to use the seed mixture you suggest for Austin, I am not physically able to do the needed prep and was unable last year to get a professional. No one would even call me back wh...
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Austin, TX
Is California fan palm found on Edwards Plateau from Austin
Is the following Palm, Washingtonia filifera, found in the Texas Hill Country, specifically the Edwards Plateau or Balcones Canyonlands NWR.
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Austin, TX
Deadwood for Degus
I have a very specific and hopefully easy question. I just brought home some degus (small adorable rodents) and they have a severely restricted list of woods they can chew on safely. The safe trees th...
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Austin, TX
Winter pruning of lantana from Austin
I live in north Austin. Due to our mild winter, my lantana has not died off this season as it usually does after a freeze - and so I have not cut it back yet this year which I typically do about right...
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Austin, TX
Non-blooming Dwarf Shrub and Agave Flowers
I have two questions. I need a symmetrical dwarf shrub for full sun in Austin area that is non-flowering. Can you recommend some? And do agaves always flower when they are about 10 years and then die?
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Austin, TX
Identifying non-native lichens from Austin
Can you provide help identifying lichens? If not, can you suggest someone who can?
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Austin, TX
Flowers for monarch butterflies in Bastrop, Gonzales and Travis Counties of Texas
Hi Mr./s. Smarty Plants, What are some flowers that grow naturally on a Bastrop, Travis, or Gonzales county riverside that monarch butterflies commonly feed on? Thank you
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Austin, TX
Agarita suggestion for Houston area
Another possible plant for the following question is agarita. The question: "Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Ro...
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