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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
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
Wax myrtle or cherry laurel in Austin?
For a very shady area under a large old oak tree with oak toxic soil, would a Wax Myrtle or a Cherry Laurel (caroliniana) be better? Looking for an evergreen screening tree up to 20ft, but it only get...
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Austin, TX
Is Black Cherry allelopathic from Austin
Is the Black Cherry an appropriate tree to plant in north Austin as a shade tree? Your site says this tree may be allelopathic to garden plants . Do you know specifically which plants it might help o...
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Austin, TX
Propagation of lilies by seed
I have collected a large number of lily seeds. How can I get them to grow?
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Austin , TX
More on bluebonnets
I have a small field (about 1/2 acre) where I would like to grow bluebonnets and perhaps some other wildflowers for added color. Do bluebonnets need to be fertilized? Should I water them? How can I...
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Austin, TX
Sombrerito Mexicano
Ratibida columnifera, almost universally called Mexican hat in English, is native to Texas and also to parts of Mexico, which leads me to wonder what the vernacular name is in Mexican Spanish. Google...
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Austin, TX
Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
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Austin, TX
Photograph of seedling or pigeon berry (Rivina humilis) seedling
Where can I find a photograph of a pigeon berry seedling?
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Austin, TX
Browning leaves on non-native Burford holly
I have several dwarf Burford hollies whose leaves are browning. The individual leaves have colors of green, dark brown to light brown extending from the stem. Any ideas?
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Austin, TX
Proximity of male possumhaw to female
Mr. Smarty Pants, In regards to fertilization, how close by must a male possumhaw be located to a female possumhaw?
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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
Caring for non-native African violet
How do you care for the African violet?
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Austin, TX
Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
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Austin, TX
Division of non-native Lamb's Ear plant in Austin
I have a lambs' ear plant that has gone wild, and I would like to divide and transplant part of the plant. Advice? Live in Austin, TX. 78757
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Austin, TX
Need information about Pignut (Hoffmannseggia glauca).
I wanted to know a little about Pignut (also called Indian Rush-pea and Hog Potato); botanical name Hoffmannseggia glauca. Is it edible, and at what point does the plant produce a tuber (looks like a ...
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Austin, TX
Plants for privacy shield in Austin
We are looking for a tall hedge on the lot line between us and our neighbors. Thinking Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) would be a good choice. Question: how close should we plant them tog...
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Austin, TX
Native flowering vine for Central Texas
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I need a Texas native, flowering, climbing plant to climb up a post or trellis. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Austin, TX
Mechanism for Cenizo bush blooming before rain
Why does cenizo (aka barometer bush) bloom before it rains?
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Austin, TX
Landscaping with native plants in Austin
I'm expanding a flower bed in front of my house and would like to keep it all natives. 1) How do I find out what type of soil I should add? (I live near Hyde Park, Austin and haven't had a soil te...
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Austin, TX
Plants for making dyes for organic cotton
Looking to dye my own organic cotton for my new line of organic clothing and I want to grow the plants for making the dyes in my own garden. Any suggestions?
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Austin, TX
When do bigtooth maples (Acer grandidentatum) seeds mature and fall?
Hello, In answer to a previous question, you said that Bigtooth Maple samaras come ripe around August-September. Recently, I went to Lost Maples State Natural Area, and in their display, it says...
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