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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
Tree (evergreen) to grow in area with high water table
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in central Austin, Tarrytown specifically, just blocks from the aptly named Spring Lane. (sometimes we hit water in our back yard within 2 feet of the surface.) We los...
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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
How can I prune my Texas Mountain Laurels to be more tree-like?
I planted several Texas Mountain Laurels last spring and would like to train them to be more tree-like rather than shrub-like. Each is around 36" tall with 5-10 trunks coming from the ground. Where...
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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
Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stu...
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Austin, TX
Possible to grow Inland Sea Oats in Oklahoma?
Would it be possible to grow inland sea oats in Southeast Oklahoma? Is this within the range of this plant? I am asking on behalf of my cousin in OK.
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Austin, TX
Live Oak Suckers
Hello, my neighbor cleared away their St. Augustine grass for mulch and plantings. Under a huge, beautiful Live Oak tree they placed a wide bed of medium gravel, almost out to the drip line. It look...
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Austin, TX
Planting orange-flowered asclepias in Austin
I have asclepias seeds of the orange flower variety and would like to plant them. What should I do for the best success, and how long does it take for them to come up?
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Austin, TX
Ground Cover for Austin
What are some ground cover or low growing shrubs that will do well in afternoon sun only in the 78750 zip code?
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Austin, TX
Transplanting Spiderwort in Austin
I have a big patch of spiderwort that has popped up in the middle of my front lawn. Will it survive being dug up and moved to the garden?
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Austin, TX
Information about Cedar Sage from Austin
I am new to the Austin area and was wondering about cedar sage (salvia roemeriana). Is this plant considered aromatic, non-aromatic of chia? And, other than the edible flower are other parts of the ...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for septic field in Austin
Do you have guidance for west Austin residents regarding landscaping a septic field with native plants?
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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
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
Should wait to trim Inland Sea Oats until all seeds have been dropped from Austin
Regarding Inland Sea Oats: I trimmed the stalks that have lost all the seeds. Should I trim the rest of the stalks or wait until all seeds have dropped?
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Austin, TX
Fall blooming time for Copper Canyon Daisies
None of our Copper Canyon Daisies bloomed this year. Can you tell us why? They have been prolific bloomers in past summers.
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Austin, TX
Is Yaupon Invasive in the Austin Area?
Is Yaupon Holly invasive in the Austin area? Should we be removing it from our yards and/or greenbelt spaces? Thanks for your input!
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Austin, TX
Deer resistant, drought and shade tolerant plants to go under oak tree in Austin
What is the best deer resistant, drought resistant native plant to grow under my huge Oak tree? Grass does not grow. Will iris bloom?
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Austin , TX
Caring for non-native African violet
How do you care for the African violet?
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Austin, TX
Problems with non-native Pink Jasmine from Austin
A week or so ago, I purchased two beautiful pink jasmine vines. The first few days after planting, they did wonderful. Now, some leaves and stems are turning brown and some flowers have fallen off. ...
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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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