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
Removing fading blooms from iris
Iris maintenance: when blooms begin to fade do I pluck off just the bloom? cut off the entire stalk? leave it alone? Some blooms grow on stalks without leaves and some on stalks with leaves.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Plants for septic fields in Austin
We are building a house in Austin and the site requires a septic system. I need advice on how to landscape with native plants over the septic fields. The side yard and the front yard will contain the ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Invasiveness of non-native Asian jasmine
I have a lot of Asian Jasmine planted as groundcover in various beds. The last year or so it has become unruly and is now invading my St. Augustine, working its way into the lawn itself. Is there an...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Identification of Monarda citriodora on roadsides
What is the name of the lavender wildflower so prevalent right now throughout the Texas hill country? It's an upright stalk that has lighter and darker lavender petals with rows of green leaves sepa...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Hail damage to Cenizo in Austin
We have some Texas sage Silverado. After the latest hail, they look very sad. If about the half of plant is OK and the other half looks dried/dead?, should we prune the dried half? Are they ever comin...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Transplanting Sideroxylon lanuginosum in Austin
I have a tall (30-40 ft) Sideroxylon lanuginosum in my backyard. Last fall hundreds of saplings popped up in my yard following runners from the tall tree. I would like to keep a few of these sapling...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Whitefly infestation in roses and salvia
Several of my outdoor plants (including Knockout roses and salvia) have a white residue on the stems. If I touch it a white bug jumps off. The residue can be wiped off or sprayed off, but the little...
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
Failure to bloom in hybrid lantana
I live in Austin and have planted the newer lantana varieties which bloom with orange and pink flowers.They have been planted in full sun and get watered 2 times a week for about 15 minutes.They do no...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have b...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Life expectancy for Ulmus crassifolia
What is the life expectancy for a cedar elm? We live in Austin, and the tree was likely here before the house, which was built in 1939.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Distinguishing Bermuda grass from Buffalo grass
Is Bermuda grass taking over my Buffalo grass lawn? I recently sodded a small area of Buffalo Grass 'Prairie' (last fall). It's doing beautifully, or so I think. There are stolons running and reach...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Stem canker or leaf fungus in Morella cerifera
Dear Mr.Smarty Pants: The upper half of our wax myrtle, which we had allowed (with artful pruning) to reach about ten feet suddenly died this spring (it dropped most of its leaves and didn't sprout...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Plant Identification
Hi. I took a picture of a plant/wildflower at Reimer's Ranch near Dripping SPrings and have been unable to identify it. I searched through the plant database but am having difficulty. Can I send y...
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 safe glass mulch in Austin, TX.
Do you know where one can buy locally in Austin the recycled glass mulch that is sold in clean condition, color separated?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Non-native pittisporum disease in Austin
Did Barbara Medford of Round Rock, TX ever find out what was causing sections of her dwarf pittosporum to die out? I have seen this in many yards now.
view the full question and answer

Austin , TX
Cutting back perennials from Austin
When is it time to cut back native plants; salvia;copper canyon daisy; verbena, etc?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Keeping deer and rabbits out of plants
Are there plants that are both deer- and rabbit-resistant? Something is eating the plants that the deer seem to leave alone--snipping off the flowers at the top of the stems (ie, zinnias and plumbago...
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center