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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
Possible damage by invasive, non-native earthworms in compost
I received a worm bin (vermicomposter) for Christmas. The instructions that came with the bin say to use the red wiggler worm (Eisenia foetida) and that it is okay if some of the worms go into your g...
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Austin, TX
Identification of plants emerging from "wildflower mix" of seeds
I planted a "wildflower mix" a couple months ago, and now I have a bunch of plants growing that I'm not sure what they are. Some of them are starting to make buds, and I've been looking on the in...
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Austin, TX
Instructions on rainwater harvesting
Do you have any information on the construction of domestic rain fall catch tanks and water distribution systems? We are currently in a drought-stricken area of Texas and are very interested in constr...
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Austin, TX
Deer Resistant Plants for Dry Shade in Manor, Texas
What deer resistant blooming plants will do well under a huge oak tree?
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Austin, TX
Insect infestation of plants, dog and home
I have plants that some kind of bug is killing them, my fan plam, ficus tree and other plants. The leaves are drying up and falling off. Apparently, they also are infestion my apartment. I feel them c...
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Austin, TX
Non-native Gingko biloba in Austin
Does a Ginkgo biloba tree grow easily in the Austin area? Does it take extra care to keep it alive?
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Austin, TX
Winter trim-back of plants in butterfly garden
I had a wonderful butterfly garden this past spring, summer, and fall. This was its first year of planting. Should I trim the plants that have died back due to frost? I'm worried about destroying ...
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Austin, TX
Non-native Tradescantia spathacea in Austin
Can a moses in the cradle (Tradescantia spathacea) plant be planted in a landscape setting with part sun of up to six hours in this texas heat?
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Austin, TX
Fast-growing shade tree for Central Texas
What is the best fastest growing shade tree for central Texas? Thanks
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Austin, TX
Availability of orchids native to Austin, TX area
Hi Mr. Smarty plants, I'm looking for orchids native to the Austin Texas area. I'd like to incorporate them into my pond and waterfall garden. Can you give me some names. I'd also like to know ...
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Austin, TX
Are Ashe Junipers dying from mite damage in Austin?
If Ashe Juniper needles are turning brown and dropping off the trees because of drought, and not disease, do the needles ever come back, or have the tree limbs died? What if the cause is mites, not ...
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Austin, TX
Non-native Pride of Barbados for Austin
When does the Pride of Barbados need to be planted and where would I find a nursery that carries them?
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Austin, TX
Lavender near Austin TX
Are there places to view blooming lavender near Austin in July 2011?
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Austin, TX
Wildflower seeds affected by mulch in Austin
I have a small wildflower garden in my central Austin yard. In early summer, I had some extra mulch and put it in this garden. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake. The bed has re-seeded itself for se...
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Austin, TX
Removing yaupon hollies from yard in Austin
We recently moved into a home w/ way too many and much too large (20-30') yaupon holly's in the back yard. I had some of them cut down, but they keep coming up from the roots of the old trees. How ...
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Austin, TX
Tree leaves being chewed in Austin
We planted a Texas Redbud tree, and Monterey Oak (Mexican White Oak) in the front yard this spring and both have had their leaves eaten or chewed by something I cannot find on their leaves. At first I...
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Austin, TX
Fruit-bearing crabapple for Austin, TX
Is there a fruitbearing crabapple that will live in Austin. If so, what soil type is required?
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Austin, TX
Sprouts from Live Oak in Austin
I have an Escarpment Live Oak..quercus fusiformis.? I get tired of all the sprouts that come up around this tree..My yard person wants to pull them up or get a roto tiller after them..? I had been t...
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Austin , TX
Need suggestions for material to build a raised bed garden
I am starting a raised bed garden but cannot find untreated railroad ties or landscape timbers. Does anyone have a source in the Austin or Dripping Springs area? I have tried McCoys, Home Depot, Natur...
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Austin, TX
Container plants for shade in Austin
I reside in 78739. Just moving here from So Cal (where all plants are perennials), I'm looking to create a good "Shade loving" Container for near my front door. I'm looking at 'Summer Wave' Wi...
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Austin, TX
Question about Salvia coccinea photos in the Native Plant Database
A search for Salvia coccinea in the database resulted in some of the pictures showing frostweed crystals ('am assuming that is an error), as well as some white and bicolor pastel pink & white blooms....
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