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
Are there edible nettles native to the Austin, TX area?
Are there any nettles native to this area? I would like to cook with them (if there is a good substitute, please advise). Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Viewing of Texas native wildflowers
Can you provide a general listing of when various Texas native wildflowers are in bloom? Also helpful would be a list of areas where these wildflowers could be photographed in their native growing ar...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Bur oak bark damage done by deer
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Just noticed that deer have been rubbing the bark on good sized, but young, bur oaks planted last spring. Mostly in one spot on one side of the trunk. Will this kill the ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Wildflower seeds affected by mulch in Austin
I have a small wildflower garden in my central Austin yard. In early summer, I had some extra mulch and put it in this garden. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake. The bed has re-seeded itself for se...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Identification of native Texas plants from a list
Please identify Texas Native Plants from the list below: Cotoneaster, Bi-color Iris, Greencloud Sage, Dwarf Wax myrtle, Nolina, Spineless prickly pear, Gulf Muhly, Bamboo Muhly, Big Muhly, Maiden Gra...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native trees and shrubs for bloom various times of year
I live in Southwest Austin and have a garden that spans the length of our back fence. It gets approximately 6 hours of sun. We currently have two trees (which we think are Bradford Pears) and three ...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native plants for a school butterfly garden
My son's school is having a beautification work day and one of the projects is a butterfly garden. Parents are being asked to donate plants, and we would like to suggest appropriate plants for this ...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native, deer-resistant flowering plants attractive to bees
I am adding several beehives to our property this spring. I would also like to add more native, flowering, deer-resistant plants that bees love as well. Any recommendations? I live in SW Austin, qui...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Sowing grass for shaded lawn in Texas
I'm renting a home for short period of time, hence I would like to make this as simple, but as beneficial as possible. The backyard soil is degraded and compacted so I would like to try and use a "...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Fertilizer producing leaves over flower production in Austin
Can you please list which Central Texas perennials' will favor leaf growth over flower production when fertilized? I have many in the "Grown Green" booklet and need to know which flowering plants s...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Penta and licorice plants for Austin
For Austin location Are you familiar with a small flowering plant called Penta? How about Licorice? If yes, could you provide growing conditions. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Viability of Ehretia anacua tree for Austin, TX
I live in Austin, TX and I see you've recommended the Ehretia anacua tree for someone living here. Also, my arborist mentioned it as a replacement for non-native, invasive trees. However, the databas...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Trees to replace Ligustrums, and evergreen vines for privacy screen
We had 3 ligustrum trees growing along a creek bank in our back yard and under the City of Austin power lines. Our backyard is on a terrace about 7 feet above the creek's flood plain. The Ligustrums ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Texas natives that are shade tolerant for Austin, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for Texas native plants that are shade tolerant....specifically agaves (How about the Century Agave and the Queen Victoria Agave?) and something to add a splash ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Fruit trees for South Austin.
I live in South, South Austin, just a pinch West of 35 near 1626. I would like to plant some fruit trees in the back yard. Anyone will sell fruit trees, but they don't always grow. What fruiting var...
view the full question and answer

Austin , TX
Trimming of native Muhlenbergia dumosa (Bamboo grass)
Should Muhlenbergia dumosa (Bamboo grass) be cut down in a similar fashion to other perennial grasses that go dormant in the winter.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Difficult lawn redo in Austin, TX area.
In Oak Hill section of Austin and our 2 year old house had St Augustine dumped atop the raped soil. After the drought of 09 it is all dead. We have most of our large yard native but need grass aroun...
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center