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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
Source of Allergies in Austin, TX
Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Northwest Austin and I've been suffering from allergies since moving to Austin. The allergies seem to occur at least once a year for at least a month or two. Beg...
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Austin, TX
Wound in Monterey Oak from Austin
I have a 10 year old Monterey Oak that has developed a wound that is secreting a white bubbly substance that has attracted all the bugs, like butterfly's , pill bugs, ants, and several others I don'...
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Austin, TX
Retention of essential oils by Ashe Juniper wood from Austin
I am looking for information on why local Austin Juniper/Cedar trees are so great at retaining essential oils for aromatherapy. I make pendants for necklaces out of our local fallen cedar trees and ...
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Austin, TX
Yellowing of leaves in Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
I planted a Texas Mountain Laurel in my Austin, TX yard this January. The tree was good sized (about 5 feet tall) when I planted it. Recently the leaves of the tree have started to turn yellow alon...
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Austin, TX
Butterflyweed
Can't find a way to say thanks for prompt, helpful answer today from Guy Thompson on starting "Butterflyweed" -- or how to give ans. 5 stars -- so here's thanks &stars! More info than available ...
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Austin, TX
Graywater with soap on trees and shrubs from Austin
I previously asked you about using rinse water from our top loading washer to water trees and flowers. I have two more questions: Can I use the soapy water to water trees and shrubs? Then I get...
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Austin, TX
Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
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Austin, TX
Propagation of Asclepias tuberosa
Re: Asclepias tuberosa, "butterfly weed" bush -- I have a bed in a mix of Shoal Creek well-drained caliche, soil, and some enrichment of mulch that gets almost full sun and low water. After 4 yrs a...
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Austin, TX
Pests on American Beautyberry from Austin
Something is eating the leaves of my American Beautyberry shrubs. One is almost stripped of leaves on the upper branches. I have looked and can't see any insects or caterpillars. I have also looke...
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Austin, TXB
Plant ID at the Wildflower Center from Austin
I was at the Wildflower Center today and loved the green plants with delicate white flowers that were in both clay pots in front of the auditorium. Please let me know the name of the plants.
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Austin, TX
Information on non-native caladiums from Austin
Have you a leaflet on growing caladiums in the Austin area?
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Austin, TX
Drip irrigation and uneven distribution
Subject: Drip irrigation and uneven distribution. Iíve installed drip irrigation in an area of mature shrubs (St. Johnís Wort) in Austin. These have previously received about ĺ inch of water once ...
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Austin, TX
Non-native Lavender Problem in Austin, TX
I am having a problem with two of my lavender plants and was hoping I could send a photo of each to get your opinion. I've been growing rosemary and lavender successfully for quite sometime and am aw...
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Austin, TX
A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
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Austin, TX
Recycling bath water from Austin
Is using bath water going to hurt my plants or grass? If I use water from the bath on vegetables and fruits will the soap be absorbed by the fruit and/or vegetables thereby transferring to us when we ...
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Austin, TX
Drought tolerant vine for Austin, Texas
What kind of drought-tolerant vine can I plant outside my screened in porch in Austin, Texas, that will stay on a trellis and not grow into the screen?
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Austin, TX
Suffering Yaupon in Austin
I am in the Austin area and I planted a Pride of Houston Yaupon in my back yard in March. It is in full sun. Lately the leaves have been turning pale green and now they fall off the tree upon touchi...
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Austin, TX
Hanging plants for Austin, TX
I'm looking for a hanging potted flower suggestion for Austin. Most locations are shaded under a large tree, but some locations may have several hours of afternoon sun. I'd love to see some hummin...
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Austin, TX
Controlling oak suckers in Austin
We have 2 live oak trees that are sprouting shoots all around the surrounding area. We would like to plant some grass and would like to remedy this first. We have mowed the shoots and still they jus...
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Austin, TX
Non-native bougainvillea from Austin
Bougainvillea isn't a native, but since they are so prevalent here, I hope you can help. I have three, one established in-the-ground, which is pruned almost to the ground every winter; two new this y...
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Austin, TX
Yellowing leaves on non-native jasmine from Austin
Hi, I have a mature jasmine plant in the ground in a very sunny courtyard which gets watered daily. The lower leaves are turning yellow and am wondering if this is too much water for it. The top lea...
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