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

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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.
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Austin, TX
Where to purchase a non-native gardenia
Where can I buy a gardenia plant in south austin?
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Austin, TX
Failure to bloom of Tecoma stans in Austin
We Planted a Yellow Esperanza shrub 2 years ago that was blooming when we purchased it. It bloomed very little last year and not at all this year. It looks very healthy and each year gets about 10 f...
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Austin, TX
Plant identification of red flower in Austin
What is the plant I have seen in urban landscapes in Austin, Texas, that have bright red flowers at the terminus of what looks like a spray of green, jointed, drooping branches (or stalks). It forms ...
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Austin, TX
Bluebonnets for wedding in February
I'm getting married in February 2009. My father passed away when I was younger and thus, won't be there to walk me down the aisle. His favorite flower was bluebonnets and I would like to include t...
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Austin, TX
Loss of leaves on yaupon in Austin
Last winter I planted a Pride of Houston yaupon. Currently, the leaves at the tips of its stems are green and healthy, but the leaves along the stems are turning dark brown and falling off. Does...
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Austin, TX
Possible webbing bark lice on oak tree
We live near the Center and have a large live oak tree in our yard. Recently the lower trunk has been covered with thin, white weblike material (not sure if spider web). What could this be and is it d...
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Austin, TX
What is eating the plants in my garden?
I have both purple and yellow coneflowers. Something is coming into my garden and eating the flowers off the stems. We don't have deer but may have other small animals that can get into our yard. Do ...
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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
Viability of non-native Royal Poinciana in Austin
My question is about the tree called Royal Poinciana that grows so well in the Rio Grande Valley. I realise it isn't a native but hope you have an opinion about its chances of survival in Austin. ...
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Austin, TX
Plant identification
Can you identify a shrub in my backyard? It has odd looking seed pods with three chambers and hard black seeds inside roughly 1/8" in diameter. The pods themselves are brown, hard shell, and hang d...
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Austin, TX
Plant identification
Just after the last little rain we got, I noticed a small, inconspicuous plant in my front yard that was sprouting a structure that looks for all the world like a pitcher plant. It is not, however, an...
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Austin, TX
Texas natives to plant in July and August
My husband and I have a disaster of a lawn that we were planning to develop slowly, over time, with a sustainable design we contracted from a landscape designer. However, we are having to move out of...
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Austin, TX
Natural groundcovers beneath live oaks in Austin
We are moving to a home in NW Austin set in a forest of live oaks (15 of them). What plants are the natural groundcovers? We want to replace the 'grass' completely. There is no sun so we don't b...
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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...
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Austin, TX
Moonnflower native to North America
Is the plant called moon flower a native plant to North America?
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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Austin, TX
Native grasses for bare shady spot in Austin
My back yard is shady from old Arizona Ash trees. What native grasses can I plant in bare areas caused by my dog?
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Austin, TX
Lack of fruit on Texas persimmon
I have several Texas Persimmons on my property, most have nodules covering most of the leaves that I am presuming to be insect eggs. Between my neighbor and I we have over a dozen of these tress grow...
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