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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
Problems with pink oxalis in Austin
I have a bed of pink oxalis. The leaves are turning rusty and withering. It is spreading. Can you tell me how to remedy this?
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Austin, TX
Where to test for Bacterial Leaf Scorch in Austin, Texas
It appears that the American elm trees in my backyard may have Bacterial Leaf scorch. Where can I have this confirmed?
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Austin, TX
Planting time for black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
When is the best time to plant Black-eyed Susan seeds in Central Texas?
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Austin, TX
Hardiness of bluebonnet seeds under water and white bluebonnets
I was trying to find out more about the hardiness of bluebonnets. We own a lot on Lake Travis near Spicewood Texas. As you are probably aware, the lake was very low this spring due to a drought that ...
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Austin, TX
Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
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austin, TX
Large tree and smaller specimen tree for Austin, Texas
We are in the process of removing two Silver Maples in our front yard planted by the previous owner of our house. We live close to the Wildflower Center and have very shallow soil on top of rock. We...
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Austin, TX
Pronunciation of non-native mutabilis from Austin
How do you pronounce the rose name, "mutabilis"? Some friends say "mu TAB ilis" and others say "muta BIL is". Which is it? Thanks!
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Austin, TX
What to do with a sickly American elm in Austin, Texas
I have an American elm that is about 6 feet tall in my yard. It is has not grown quickly this year--as compared to another American Elm that I have in another spot that is about 3 feet tall and has m...
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Austin, TX
Color of Englemann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
I'm in Austin and just bought some Engelmann's Daisies at the plant sale on Fri. The picture had them with white petals, and your plant database has them with yellow petals. I specifically wanted wh...
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Austin, TX
Best time to plant wildflowers
I am in charge of the construction of a 3-4 mile nature trail around our organization's property and was wondering, 'when is it best to plant wildflowers?
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Austin, TX
Introduced invasive Melia azedarach along Shoal Creek in Austin
Along the Shoal Creek Trail in Austin are many flowering trees with sparse clusters of small pink/purple, star-shaped flowers with a dark red center stalk, blooming now in April. They have a fragrance...
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Austin, TX
Plant replacements for non-native invasives in Austin, TX
I live in Austin, TX, I have a large lot and small house. I want to do some selective planting on the back half of my lot. Currently there are large live oaks, cedar elm. hackberry, cedar, Texas persi...
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Austin, TX
Browning leaves on non-native Burford holly
I have several dwarf Burford hollies whose leaves are browning. The individual leaves have colors of green, dark brown to light brown extending from the stem. Any ideas?
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Austin, TX
More on bluebonnets
Are pink bluebonnets still considered very rare? I discovered several growing amongst normal blues on the National Instruments corporate campus here in Austin. I wasn't sure if the Wildflower Cente...
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Austin, TX
Plants good for repelling bugs in Austin, TX
I need help on what type of plants or herbs are good for keeping bugs away from the house and also something that would be good for in the house for bugs?
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Austin, TX
Mixed native plantings for steep slope in Austin
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: We wrote to you recently about plantings for a fairly steep slope in a park in Austin. We had asked about grasses and perennials. An article about planting on slopes in this mo...
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Austin, TX
Mexicana Redbud failing to bloom in Austin
I have a Mexican Redbud that I bought last fall. It is now April (I'm in Austin), and the leaves have emerged, but the tree did not flower. So . . . what should I do to get it to flower? (The tree i...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for heavy clay soil in east Austin
I live in East Austin and have very thick clay soil on my property. I also have a lot of shade and partial sun/shade. Can you suggest some native plant varieties that are well-adapted to these condi...
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Austin, TX
Native flowers for color year round
I have the opportunity to recommend plants for a religious organization. They want YEAR ROUND color in some areas, much like how commercial sites use annual color. I would like to suggest native/ada...
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Austin, TX
Root depth of opuntia
What can you tell me about the depth of roots of the opuntia? Does it vary with different varieties or is there formula to estimate the depth according to the mature size or to the culture - garden ...
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Austin, TX
Damaged newly planted Gaura in Austin
Hello yet again! This past Friday we attended the plant sale where we got lots of goodies to start a new bed. The plants were all planted on Sunday. All of them are doing fine, even beginning to...
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