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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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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
Winter plant for area with poor drainage.
I have a 2 ft by 15 ft bed between the concrete patio and the pool that gets run off from the porch roof. I can't gutter the roof, so the bed can get very wet and stay that way for some time. It face...
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Austin, TX
Determine oak wilt in red oaks
I am concerned my red oaks have oak wilt. How can I tell what is wrong with them?
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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
Deer-resistant ground covers
Are there any deer resistant ground covers? Our asiatic jasmine has been eaten up by the deer.
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Austin, TX
Indoor native container plants for Central Texas
I like to model the beauty of native plants where ever possible, and would like to have some in my office. Are there any Central TX natives that will survive in an office environment? I do have a bi...
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Austin, TX
Cenizo as a Foundation Plant in Austin
We live next to the wildflower center. We would like to plant "Leucophyllum frutescens". We are hoping to use this as a foundation plant. Will it survive if planted in Dec. Please offer any tips ...
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Austin, TX
Management of xeriscape garden and rock mulch
I have a large xeriscape garden; unfortunately, it is located near some pear trees which drop tons of leaves each fall/winter. The garden is difficult to clean of leaves until I cut back the plants. ...
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Austin, TX
Native trees with yellow fall leaves
Hello, I want to plant a medium sized tree in my back yard that has yellow foliage in the fall. I've seen Yellow (in the fall) trees in my part of town (south Austin around West William Cannon)th...
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Austin, TX
Red oak (Quercus shumardii or Q. buckleyi) for small yard.
Hello, I want to plant a red oak but my yard is not large. I'm looking for a red oak that is medium size in width. The height is not so much of a concern. From what I've read, the Shumard is m...
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Austin, TX
Propagating yaupons (Ilex vomitoria)
Dear Mr. Smarty, I enjoy your weekly tips printed in the Austin Statesman. We live in the Texas hill country where the soil is essentially rock. One of the nice benefits of our yard and the are...
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Austin, TX
Fog fruit?
In your native plant database listing for Phyla nodiflora one of the common names seems to be misspelled (fog instead of frog). FYI, if wrong, please let me know.
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Austin, TX
Removal of mature agaves
Hello- we live in Austin, TX and have a bed of different varieties of agave. They are near the walkway to our house, and are so out of control they pose a hazard to our guests walking up to the house...
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Austin, TX
Wildflowers for a wedding site
My fiance and I would like to get married on his family's ranch, just north of Johnson City on the Pedernales river, in April of 2009. Currently, we are clearing the over-grown meadows of cactus and ...
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Austin, TX
Culture of a potato vine
This spring I was given a potato to grow. The lady called it a potato vine. Do you know anything about this vine?
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Austin, TX
Defining drip line on trees from Austin
When you say that trees should be watered at the "drip line," do you mean that literally? I assume that the drip line means at the outside edge of the leaves or branches. Does that mean that waterin...
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Austin, TX
Tree leaves being chewed in Austin
We planted a Texas Redbud tree, and Monterey Oak (Mexican White Oak) in the front yard this spring and both have had their leaves eaten or chewed by something I cannot find on their leaves. At first I...
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Austin, TX
When do bigtooth maples (Acer grandidentatum) seeds mature and fall?
Hello, In answer to a previous question, you said that Bigtooth Maple samaras come ripe around August-September. Recently, I went to Lost Maples State Natural Area, and in their display, it says...
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Austin, TX
Plants for edge of intermittent stream
I have a friend in Washington DC who is having runoff problems. She is having a drycreek installed. What kind of plants are native to her area that will withstand flash flood and intermittent dry co...
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Austin, TX
How can I eradicate 20 acres of cactus?
Cactus eradication. I have about 20 acres that are covered to the point that it is not safe to walk on the property. What can I do? Are there classes out there for eradication?
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Austin, TX
Bumelia sending up shoots in Austin
I have a bumelia that is sending up shooters everywhere in my yard. Everywhere!! I started to dig them up, but many come from deep roots and my digging seems to have encouraged the tree to send up m...
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