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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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Center, TX
Fast-growing evergreens for privacy in Center, TX
I live in East Texas and am looking for a fast growing evergreen for a privacy screen around my backyard. The area gets partial sun and the soil has a lot of clay in it.
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Austin, TX
Butterfly garden in Austin
I am located in North Central Austin, and just bought a house with a large back yard. One half is shade-part sun, and the other half is full sun. The shade from three large (55-60) foot trees. I am...
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Austin, TX
Finding bloom time on "Explore Plants" feature of website
In using your 'Explore Plants' feature, I have noticed that you can search for plants according to their bloom time, but when looking at a specific species' page, I have not been able to discover t...
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Austin, TX
Control of sooty mold from aphids in Crape Myrtle
I have a crape myrtle in my front flower bed that has a sooty black substance on the leaves and trunk. I've done research and understand this is caused by aphids. My question is how do I get the bl...
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Austin, TX
Native wildflowers for caliche soil
What kind of wildflower seeds can I plant on caliche soil. No water, other than rain, with some deer grazing.
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Austin, TX
Wildflower seeds to plant in summer in Austin
Are there any wildflower seeds that can be planted during the summer months in Austin, TX?
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Austin, TX
Reversion of maroon bluebonnets back to blue
In the fall, I bought a flat of Texas bluebonnets. They are blooming now, and it turns out they are actually maroon bluebonnets! Which is really too bad, because I want blue bluebonnets. Do you know i...
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Austin, TX
Need help with a Pecan tree that has been topped in Austin, TX.
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a pecan tree on my property that was topped by the previous owners. I have searched high and low for information on how to correctly prune a tree that has already been ...
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Austin, TX
Thorns on non-native orange trees
I just moved into a new home that has orange trees in the yard. The tree trunks and limbs are thorny. What kind of oranges are they? How should I care for them? Is it ok to cut off the thorns so t...
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Austin, TX
Possible mildew on standing cypress
My mother-in-law took some standing cypress seeds from Texas to Virginia several years ago. They have always done very well, but this year they are growing very tall, but the bottom half of the stalk...
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Austin, TX
Tree and vine for shade and privacy
We recently added a deck in our backyard which faces west, we live in Circle C (southwest Austin). The afternoon sun is intense so we're looking to plant something along our fence line to provide sh...
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Austin , TX
Native trees and wildflowers for acreage near San Marcos, TX
We are moving to 4 acres between Lockhart & San Marcos TX. The soil is a kind of gummy black clay. Elms, mesquite and grasses seem to grow well in it. What native trees and wildflowers would do wel...
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Austin, TX
Source of Rosa foliolosa for Zilker Gardens, Austin
We're looking for a specimen plant of Rosa foliolosa and I am hoping you can direct me where I can purchase one for the Vee Fowler Native Texas Herb Garden at Zilker Botanical Gardens.
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Austin, TX
Deadheading Mexican hat to produce more blooms in Austin
I have several Mexican hat (rudbeckia) plants growing wild in my yard. Would deadheading now give them a second flush of bloom in fall?
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Austin, TX
Ground cover for cleared property in Austin
I live in a small apartment building near 183 & 620. The land beyond the lawn has trees and has been cleared of brush. They are planning to seed the ground. I thought invasive native ground covers wo...
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Austin, TX
Propagation of Arisaema dracontium
We are fortunate enough to own an 8-acre drainage next to Bull Creek preserve, and it has several stands of Green Dragon (Arisaema Dracontium) growing in it. How can we propagate this plant and share...
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Austin, TX
Wispy plant to put behind a waterfall
Needing a 10-20ft wispy ______ to plant behind our waterfall to help block out road noise. We live in Austin. I've looked at the Mexican weeping bamboo but are there other options?
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Austin, TX
Butterfly plants for Austin
Hummingbirds come to our Mexican honeysuckle early in the spring, and then come late in the summer when the Turk's caps bloom. We have rocky soil, and a fairly shady garden. What could we plant that ...
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Austin, TX
Identity of 50 ft. tree
I live in Austin and I have a tall (50-ft) tree outside my window. It's deciduous and has shiny, deep green, spear-tip, serrated leaves that vary in size from about hand- to dinner-plate size. I've ...
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Austin, TX
Care of non-native Primrose jasmine
I have 4 large primrose jasmine shrubs that were transplanted about 4 years ago. They were cut back fairly harshly at that time. Since then, the centers remain very woody... no greenery... but the l...
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Austin, TX
Buffalograss as lawn replacement in Austin, TX
Mr. Smarty Plants, I have just moved into a house that has a yard full of weeds. I was planning on killing the existing ground cover and starting buffalo grass, when I came upon several articles on...
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