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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
Need for sunlight for Sophora secundiflora to bloom
My mountain laurel doesn't bloom. We live in Oak Hill and planted it about seven years ago. It bloomed one year at about age three or four. Since then nothing. What can I do? It only gets indire...
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Austin, TX
Vascular wilt in Rhus virens
Hi Smarty: Our evergreen sumac grew beautifully this spring (it is about 2 years old -- we got it at the LBJ Wildflower Center plant sale). Then its leaves suddenly drooped last month (May) and turn...
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Austin, TX
Keeping deer and rabbits out of plants
Are there plants that are both deer- and rabbit-resistant? Something is eating the plants that the deer seem to leave alone--snipping off the flowers at the top of the stems (ie, zinnias and plumbago...
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Austin, TX
Red-backed bugs on mountain laurel (Sophoro secundiflora)
I found red-backed bugs (in fact two end-to-end like the east Texas love bugs) on my mountain laurel which has been losing leaves. Are these bugs the culprit?
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Austin, TX
Native climbing rose for Austin
Is there such a thing as a native climbing rose that would do well in Austin?
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Austin, TX
Freeze damage to dwarf Barbados Cherry in Austin
This past winter was colder than usual here, in the southwestern outskirts of Austin, but I am surprised that my established Dwarf Barbados Cherry, on the south side of my house froze completely to th...
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Austin, TX
Tentative identification of Ibervillea lindheimeri
I live close to the Center and found a plant in the park near my house I'd like identified. It was a vine with bright red fruit on it. The fruit was about the size of a cherry tomato but was oblong...
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Austin, TX
How can I eradicate 20 acres of cactus?
Cactus eradication. I have about 20 acres that are covered to the point that it is not safe to walk on the property. What can I do? Are there classes out there for eradication?
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Austin, TX
Did Mexican fire bush (Hamelia patens) survive winter cold?
I have a Mexican fire bush that I planted last spring and it bloomed beautifully last summer. It browned and we cut it back to the ground. Right now it's showing no signs of life and I'm afraid it m...
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austin, TX
Privacy plantings to replace invasive bamboo
We are looking for good screening plants for our new house (the houses are very close). We like the way bamboo looks it is tall and narrow for the most part, but we do not want bamboo since it is inv...
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Austin, TX
Japanese honeysuckle invading a backyard habitat in Austin
It has been a few weeks since we have been to our backyard (it is a place in need of desperate attention, but we have been re-landscaping the front yard first). When we went out today to start plannin...
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Austin, TX
Privacy shrub in part shade to shade in Austin
Barbara Medford's July 1, 2008 reply regarding Little Emperor Japanese Blueberry Tree is exactly my experience with cherry laurel in partial sun/shaded area in Austin, Texas. For 6 - 8' height si...
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Austin, TX
Removing fading blooms from iris
Iris maintenance: when blooms begin to fade do I pluck off just the bloom? cut off the entire stalk? leave it alone? Some blooms grow on stalks without leaves and some on stalks with leaves.
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Austin, TX
Failure to thrive of Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin
I have an adult (over 25 years?, 20 feet tall?) Mountain Laurel next to my house in Austin. The winter of 2009/10 it lost most of its leaves. It did bloom and leaf out this Spring--not vigorous espec...
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Austin, TX
Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
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Austin, TX
Need plants with red flowers to grow in shaded area in yard in Austin.
I have a shaded area where all the shrubs die. I would like to plant some flowers there instead of shrubs. What red flower plants can sustain a lot of shade.
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Austin, TX
Native grass for shaded lawn in Austin
Hello, I've read all your info on the native lawns and came by the center on Sunday. We live in Circle C and want to plant a lawn in our backyard. We don't want something that needs a lot of wate...
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Austin, TX
Invasiveness of non-native Asian jasmine
I have a lot of Asian Jasmine planted as groundcover in various beds. The last year or so it has become unruly and is now invading my St. Augustine, working its way into the lawn itself. Is there an...
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Austin, TX
Adventitious sprouts on oak tree in Austin
Hello, I have an Oak tree which was planted in about 2002, which has adventitious sprouts. The tree has always sent these up, and we cut them off below ground. The tree has always been a 'runt', b...
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Austin, TX
Use of fresh clippings from tree trimmers for mulch in Austin
Hi, The tree trimmers are in my neighborhood (east central Austin) to clear the power lines and said I can have a load of free mulch. I am wondering if there is any harm in using the fresh mulch from...
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Austin, TX
Identification of Monarda citriodora on roadsides
What is the name of the lavender wildflower so prevalent right now throughout the Texas hill country? It's an upright stalk that has lighter and darker lavender petals with rows of green leaves sepa...
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