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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
Evergreen shrubs for screen
I'd like your recommendation for an evergreen shrub (flowers would be a nice bonus but not as necessary as the evergreen factor) or small tree with a height hopefully under 12' and a width hopefully...
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Austin, TX
Choice of shade trees from the City of Austin
I have a choice of three shade trees from the city of Austin. They are Live Oak, Elm, Cedar. Although I am happy to have a free tree, I think the choices are not the best for my home. I have a small ...
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Austin, TX
Pruning wax myrtles from Austin
I've got some wax myrtles that have grown up in the last 10 years on my property line, completely volunteer. My neighbor has begun to grumble about too much shade on his yard. I'd like to trim them ...
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Austin, TX
Dealing with poison ivy
Suggestions for eradicating Poison Ivy? I have just a small growth in my backyard. Thanks -
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Austin, TX
Smaller trees for limited space in yard in Austin
Follow up to "I have a choice of three shade trees from the city of Austin. They are Live Oak, Elm, Cedar. Although I am happy to have a free tree, I think the choices are not the best for my home. I...
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Austin, TX
Wildflower succession from Austin
I am interested in learning about a wildflower "cycle" (not sure of a better term). I recently saw the Wildflower special on PBS that talked briefly about an area that had wildflowers that naturally...
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Austin, TX
Failure of older branches on Bauhinia lunarioides to thrive
We planted a sapling of the Anacacho Orchid Tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) winter (Jan, Feb?) and now it has leaves and blooms - but only off of new branches near its trunk, as the old branches haven't ...
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Austin , TX
Native vines to cover limestone walls in Austin
We are moving into a house in Austin that has three tiered 5'- 6' retaining walls in the back yard. They are huge and somewhat of an eye sore. We have some cool landscaping ideas to make the most ...
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Austin, TX
Too late to begin planting in May in Austin?
Is it too late to begin planting in May? I live in Austin Texas and have finally completed my plans for a native Texas landscaping (plants and grass) of my front yard. I'd like to get the landscapi...
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Austin, TX
Identification of plant along Austin's Hike 'n' Bike Trail
Can you identify the tall (5-6 feet) lanky woody shrub which is growing on the south side of the Hike'n'Bike Trail in Austin? It is in a small garden, adopted by Maggie and Karl Key, near the new p...
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Austin, TX
Repairing damage to Anacacho Orchid Tree in Austin
Hi You Guys!! We have an understory Anacacho Orchid Tree in the front and my sweetie was trimming the big oak and dropped a branch down, splitting one of the large branches off the Anacacho. The wou...
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Austin, TX
Knife Acacia or Shrubs for Austin
Hello, Do you know if knife acacia is a suitable plant for North Austin? Does it have sharp leaves or thorns? How large and full does it get? We are looking to replace our existing pampas grass...
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Austin, TX
Information about Maui Red Starflower
I can't find any information on MAUI RED STARFLOWER. I found some in Houston Texas & the card says sun, blooms spring to frost, showy bloom, good in clusters. MY QUESTION was to find out if it is a...
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Austin, TX
Protection from native invasive trumpet vines
Mr. SP: I have invaders! Trumpet vines from a neighbor's yard, two doors away have taken over and are eating my garage and trying to steal all the sun from my clematis vines. How do I get rid of...
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Austin, TX
Chlorotic leaves on yaupon in Austin
My yaupon holly looks chlorotic, it is 7 years old, I do not feed it, just a little seaweed occasionally. I am a totally organic gardener.
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Austin, TX
Shoots sprouting around base of liveoak tree
I have a Live Oak that was planted in my yard about 15 years ago. In the last several years, small shoots have been sprouting up around the tree base, are getting more dense and spreading into the gr...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for septic field
We have a new Septic tank and field and I want to plant native seeds on the field instead of grass. Are there particular packages of seed that I can purchase or what else would you recommend?
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Austin, TX
Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Austin, TX.
I live on a corner lot with the backyard facing a busy street. My lot is 4 feet lower than street level. I am looking for a privacy screen to plant along this North facing side. I have a canopy of ...
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Austin, TX
Problems with sophora secundiflora
My mountain laurel is looking bad. It has lost of its leaves, especially on the lower part of the tree (it's about 7 feet tall) and many of the remaining ones don't look good - they are curled up an...
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Austin, TX
Container vegetable gardening in Austin
Is vegetable container gardening an option with Austin's hot summers? I live in an apartment and I really want to plant an organic vegetable and herb container garden. I'm having a hard time findin...
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Austin, TX
Insects along branches of cedar elm
I have a 10 foot Cedar Elm planted three years ago. The smaller branches have what looks like incubating red pellet-like insects in a soft, putty colored glob--one insect per glob. They are all alon...
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