En EspaŅol
Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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.

Support NPINHelp grow the Native Plant Information Network by giving to the Plant Database Fund or subcribing to Wildflower magazine.

Subscribe online now
Mr. Smarty Plants would give Wildflower magazine two thumbs up...if he had two thumbs.
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

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.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native landscaping in Austin
I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Soapberry suckers in Austin
Western Soapberry. Cut it down many months ago. Now I have baby trees all over the lawn. Are these the berries or are they coming from roots even though some sprouts are quite a distance away. I pul...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Fruiting of non-native fig trees
Regarding a Fig Tree that I have, it's about 3yrs old. Last year it gave us about a handful of figs and they were good. This year the small tree is full of figs and they remain green. This summer I h...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Problems with pink oxalis in Austin
I have a bed of pink oxalis. The leaves are turning rusty and withering. It is spreading. Can you tell me how to remedy this?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Bulging trunks on post oak
I have a huge post oak with a codominant trunk that is bulging between the two main trunks. The bulging is causing the trunks to spread apart, so one of the trunks is getting much too close to the ho...
view the full question and answer

austin, TX
Newly planted Burford Holly doing poorly in Austin, TX.
About a month ago I bought dwarf burford holly. Now they have slowly started getting brown leaves that eventually fall off. Some of the plants have white spots on the ends. I usually check my plant...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Horse herb available by seed?
I live in Hays County in Texas, and I would like to plant horse herb on a slope that is now covered with a variety of tall grasses. Is horse herb available in seed form? If so, how may I order some? S...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Removing St. Augustine, replacing with native plants
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, always excited to talk to the Green Guru himself. I've recently purchased a house in South Austin and am interested in establishing a small, 500+ sq ft, prairie grass and wi...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Color of Englemann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
I'm in Austin and just bought some Engelmann's Daisies at the plant sale on Fri. The picture had them with white petals, and your plant database has them with yellow petals. I specifically wanted wh...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Mexicana Redbud failing to bloom in Austin
I have a Mexican Redbud that I bought last fall. It is now April (I'm in Austin), and the leaves have emerged, but the tree did not flower. So . . . what should I do to get it to flower? (The tree i...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Texas madrone trimmings for a wedding
Looking for Texas madrone tree trimmings needed for a special wedding.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently, I saw a short article about attracting birds to one's yard. The article said to plant "berry-bearing" shrubs, but didn't name any specific shrubs. Could you tell...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Leaf loss on non-native Elaeocarpus decipiens
Hello, I had my landscaper plant Japanese Blueberry bushes over the winter along my fence to act as a privacy screen. Their long, narrow and full evergreen characteristics are ideal for creating priv...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Source for nitrates and phosphorus (P205) for lawn care
I recently supplied soil samples from my back yard to my local extension here in Austin. I have a hybrid Bermuda turf grass (TIF 419) that has had its share of ups and downs, and wanted to assess the ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Eliminating stinging nettles in lawn in Austin
How do I get rid of stinging nettle that is dispersed through my lawn. It's not like the nettle pictures I see online - they are short plants and have narrow leaves - but covered with spines. Mowin...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Alternate native plants for bamboo as a privacy screen in Austin, TX.
Can you recommend a bamboo that I can plant, acting as a privacy screen, reaching at least 10'-12'? We are looking for a bamboo that does not spread, and can take the afternoon sun. It will be pla...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Failure to thrive of non-native Buddleja davidii
I love butterfly bushes - but have bad luck growing them. I now have several, including Butterfly Nanho Purple; and they constantly wilt. It has been a dry hot Austin summer, but should I water when...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Root barriers for invasive plant roots from neighbor in Austin
My neighbor's invasive plantings are invading my yard. He has Chinese parasol, China berry, Japanese honeysuckle, privets, ligustrums and native Mustang grape vines planted so closely together they ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native shade trees for Austin
I am building a new home that does not have any trees close by-- I want to have several shade trees to increase the efficiency of my home. What are your suggestions for an easy care, fast-growing, an...
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center