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

Austin (Driftwood), TX
Propagation of Lime Prickly Ash in Austin
We found only one small what we think is Zanthoxylum fagara or Lime Prickly Ash, Colima on our 8 acres, and the deer had apparently recently broken the main stem. I quickly made 6 or 7 cuttings, dippe...
view the full question and answer

West Lake Hills, TX
Native substitute for traditional Christmas tree
Could you give some recommendations for a substitute of the traditional Christmas tree used during the holiday season? The low light/humidity conditions in the home is a challenge under any circumsta...
view the full question and answer

West Lake Hills, TX
How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
view the full question and answer

West Lake Hills, TX
Live oaks dying in Austin, TX?
I had my live oak trees trimmed in October(it had been over 5 years) by a reputable Austin company. The tree canopies were not very thick to begin with, but throughout the winter, some trees have los...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Is non-native Chinese fringe flower deer resistant from Austin
Is Chinese fringe flower (chinense var. rubrum) considered to be deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

austin, TX
Alternatives to invasive, non-native Vinca minor as ground cover
I live in Central Austin. I want to plant a large area of Vinca minor since it is fast growing and offers attractive ground cover. I assume it requires little care with the rain being sufficient for i...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Sprouts from Live Oak in Austin
I have an Escarpment Live Oak..quercus fusiformis.? I get tired of all the sprouts that come up around this tree..My yard person wants to pull them up or get a roto tiller after them..? I had been t...
view the full question and answer

austin, TX
Variegated leaves on Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)
I grew some mexican buckeyes from seed last year and one of them has variegated leaves. I haven't seen this before- have I just not looked at enough mexican buckeyes up close or is this an uncommon f...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Erosion control plants for steep slope in Austin, TX
I'm interested in finding native plants, either perennials or grasses, that would help control erosion on a fairly steep slope. These plants would be in a park, and volunteers will be watering the pl...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Finding a native plant garden designer from Austin
I was at the center today and told to contact you on the website for suggestions on who to call to hire a garden designer to come to my house,lay out a garden and select plants, etc.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Caterpillars on Mountain laurel in Austin
One of our 18+ year old Texas Mountain Laurels seems to be in distress this year. We treated it for caterpillars this Spring but many of the new leaves had been eaten by then. I recently started wate...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
What is considered mid-winter in Austin, TX
This question was submitted, but I am unsure of the dates the answer is indicating. When is mid-winter? Question: When should I cut back (and how far should I cut back) the following plants in ...
view the full question and answer

austin, TX
Deer resistant plants for large pot in light shade in Austin
For an Austin yard, please suggest a shrub or a mixture of plants for a 15 gallon clay pot. The area has dappled light and deer. I would prefer a deciduous plant if possible.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Seeds from opuntia
How do I get seeds from opuntias?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Chlorotic leaves on yaupon in Austin
My yaupon holly looks chlorotic, it is 7 years old, I do not feed it, just a little seaweed occasionally. I am a totally organic gardener.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native plants for north facing shaded bed in Austin
I have a northfacing house in central Austin. I dug a large bed along the front that gets almost full shade. What native plants will thrive in that space?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Austin, TX.
I live on a corner lot with the backyard facing a busy street. My lot is 4 feet lower than street level. I am looking for a privacy screen to plant along this North facing side. I have a canopy of ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Spring blooming Acacia farnsiana in Austin
I've been seeing a large shrub, possibly tree, around Austin this spring - and it is covered is small ball-like orangish-yellow blooms - very tightly covered in these blooms. From the car, it looks ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Cutting back non-native oleanders affected by freeze in Austin
After the last hard freeze makes my oleanders look dead. Can I cut them down to the ground this time of year?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
How to search the Wildflower Center website
How the heck do I find a list of local native low-growing plants that are shade tolerant on this web site? The search functions don't seem to be specific enough. I searched specifying Texas, subshr...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Non-native, invasive Tree of Heaven in Central Texas?
Has Ailanthus altissima been reported in Central Texas? I think we have found a few growing right here in Austin amongst a stand of cedars at a residential property off of 1826 (near where 1826 hits ...
view the full question and answer

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