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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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Questions From Near You

Austin, TX
Few bluebonnets on MoPac in Austin
The grass fields along Mopac from Lake Lady Bird to Southwest Parkway usually have a grand display of bluebonnets. This year I do not see any color at all. Can you help me understand what is happening...
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Austin, TX
Caterpillars eating passion vines from Austin
My question concerns Yellow passion flower, purple passion vine & butterflies. I have had my passion vines for 3-4 years, each spring they start growing beautifully, then in 1-2 days are almost compl...
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Austin, TX
Weeds in Habiturf from Austin
We had our old lawn removed, tilled, laid compost, and Habiturf seed spread. I'm not sure if the man we contracted to do the work didn't adequately remove the old weed debris when he prepared the la...
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Austin, TX
How to propagate Clematis texensis in Austin, TX?
How do I propagate a Clematis texensis Buckl. Scarlet leatherflower from the seed pod?
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Austin, TX
Plants resistant to white-tailed deer from Austin
Could you tell me whether American Beautyberry and Blackfoot Daisy are usually eaten by our Austin white-tailed deer, or not? I get different answers in different publications. It would be great to ...
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Austin, TX
Landscaper recommends non-native zoysia in Austin
My landscaper recommends using "zoysia" grass throughout my new lawn, in full shade, partly shaded, and non-shaded areas, including in the gaps between leuder stone walks. I haven't heard about th...
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Austin, TX
Is Sabal minor juglone tolerant?
Is Sabal minor or any other small and shade tolerant palm juglone tolerant? I’d like to plant one in an area near a pecan tree but I am not sure if they will play well together.
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Austin, TX
Survivors of a Cedar Elm thicket thinning.
I thinned a thicket of cedar elm saplings, but a few are now leaning excessively. Will they straighten up over time or should I go ahead and cut them too? Thanks!!
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Austin, TX
Does Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) have agressive roots?
Hello, Do you know if the Huisache tree has an aggressive root system? I have a few in proximity to my septic draining field and I need to know if I should cut them down to prevent clogging of t...
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Austin, TX
Identity of plant that looks like green onions
I have what looks like green onions growing in my lawn. They have small white flowers. Are they edible?
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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
Problem with leaves of Texas Ash in Austin
We purchased a 3' to 4' Texas Ash in March 2012. The past few days I noticed new leaves at the top are curled under, have a milky substance on them, and more than a few ladybugs on them. What is thi...
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Austin, TX
White snails in Austin, TX.
We walked through an undisturbed site off of Hwy. 71 near Old Bee Caves Rd. and there were little white snails on the majority of the plants on site (not specific to certain types of plants). What typ...
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Austin, TX
Trees for shade in Austin
I live in Austin and I am looking for a good tree to plant under a large live oak I have in my backyard. Something slow-growing of course and, the garden only gets late day sun for about an hour. Filt...
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Austin, TX
Invasive plants in native plant area from Austin
Why do invasive plants grow in native plant territory?
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Austin, TX
Need options for smaller trees in neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
Please discuss smaller tree options for typical Austin neighborhood yards. These houses are built close together on the sides, and only have smallish back yards. They just don't have space for big 50...
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Austin, TX
Need suggestions for plants to put between stones on a path in Austin, TX
I am looking for plants to put between stones on a path, which are low-an inch or two, green, low water and tolerate full sun in Austin, Texas
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Austin, TX
Chlorosis on plants in Austin
I have several plants that have chlorosis on the new growth. I did an at-home basic soil test. Ph came out at 7.5 (the highest the scale went, so it could be higher than that). Nitrogen and phosphorus...
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Austin, TX
From Austin, some Texas bluebonnet seeds that will grow in San Diego, CA
Is there a variety of Texas blue bonnet that will grow in San Diego, CA?
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Austin, TX
Food for butterflies in Austin
Mr. Smarty Plants, my kids and I are raising Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars but it's still too cold to release them (oddly cool spring we're having!) If they mate and lay eggs, what loc...
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