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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
Something eating milkweed leaves in Austin
I have some milk weed plants, and have noticed in the last few weeks that something is eating the leaves on them. The flowers are fine and no other plant appears to be bothered. I thought perhaps it w...
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Austin, TX
Squirrels eating seed pods of Rock Rose in Austin
Squirrel(s) have been ripping the branches off my rock rose bushes in order to eat the seed pods. Previously we had problems with squirrel(s) gnawing on our garden ornaments. I sprayed the ornaments ...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for privacy screen in Austin
I would like some suggestions for plants to form a privacy screen between our backyard and our neighbor's. The site is shady, under old Texas Ash and pecan trees, and is located in North central Aust...
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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
What fertilizer can make potted plants flower in Austin, TX?
I have a Lantana and esmarelda planted in large pots. They froze last winter but have both come back strong except they do not bloom even though I have fertilized. Is there something special I need ...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for container gardens in Central Texas
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I moved to TX last year, for now living in an apartment with a good-size but shady deck; my garden in VA was full of VA native plants. What TX natives, if any, can I grow in ...
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Austin, TX
Non-native textile bamboo for Austin?
I was looking for a non-invasive bamboo to plant as a privacy screen in central Austin. Would bambusa textilis (weavers bamboo) be an ok solution since it is a clumping bamboo instead of running?
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Austin, TX
Mowing the multi-species buffalo grass lawn
I am planning on putting in a buffalo grass lawn in an area that is little used. I read that a mix of buffalo, blue grama, and curly mesquite is good for better cover but I am concerned about the blu...
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Austin, TX
Native Species List for Ponca OK
I planted daylilies in my Austin garden and did not do well. I moved these daylilies to my garden in Ponca City Oklahoma and have done outstanding relying only on mother nature's rain. My garden in ...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for highlights in a cactus garden
Hi, I'm looking for some groundcover (succulents or herbs), shrubs, and other perennials to plant along with the cactuses (20 or so) I got from the CDRI plant sale in Fort Davis. The most important ...
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Austin, TX
Difference between liveoaks (Quercus fusiformis and Q. virginiana)
I am a little confused on the identification differences between Quercus fusiformis and Quercus virginiana. How can you properly identify between the two?
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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
Source for Crushed Limestone Used at the Wildflower Center
Dear Mr. Smarty plants, Do you know where I can find the pulverized limestone that you have at the entrance around the front of the building? It's right around where you have Clematis texensi...
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Austin, TX
Improving blooming on mock orange
I have a now 6 yr. old mock orange shrub in the garden which has never bloomed, darn it. I have fed, not fed, mulched, not mulched, sheared, not sheared. What gives? Will it ever bloom, or shall I ...
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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
Mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) refuses to bloom
We have a Texas Mountain Laurel that gets full sunlight, but does not bloom. It is 4-5 ft tall & 3-4 ft wide & healthy. Is there anything we can do to make it bloom next year?
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Austin, TX
Possibility of obtaining seed of Styrax platanifolius
Where can I obtain seeds for the Styrax platanifolius written about in your Spring 2008 issue of Wildflower? I have raised from seed quite a few native trees and would like to try raising Styrax.
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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
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
What fertlilizer for live oaks under drought conditions?
In your June 7 answer about helping live oaks survive the drought, you state that additional fertilization may help as well. What kind of fertilizer to you recommend and how should it be applied? Th...
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Austin, TX
Replacement for non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
I would appreciate your assistance with some native plant options to replace Italian Cypress trees in the Arboretum area of Austin, TX. I have 12 of the trees on the north side of the house to obstru...
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