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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

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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Austin, TX
Where to find seed drill
Hello I am a recent member. I want to conserve a 4 acre parcel with native grasses. Do you know where I can rent a small seed drill? I have heard that some conservation groups own these for rent. I wa...
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Austin, TX
Is common yarrow a Texas native?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is common yarrow Achillea millefolium a Texas native? Please enlighten me.
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Austin, TX
Should I thin my bluebonnet seedlings in Austin, TX
It is October, and we have hundreds, maybe thousands, of bluebonnets sprouting at Eilers Park. The seeds are from plants we installed last year. They look like they should be thinned. Should we thin t...
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Austin, TX
Plants for October wedding in Texas Hill Country
I am planning an October wedding at a Texas Hill Country vineyard. I would like to incorporate some local, seasonal plants in the floral design. Can you recommend some hill country plants, flowers, ...
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Austin, TX
Brownish haze on live oak leaves in Austin, TX.
My live oak tree leaves are getting a brownish "haze" on them, almost as if they have been spray painted (lightly) with brown paint. I did use the oak wilt identifier and that is not at all what it ...
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austin, TX
Ravaged by snails
Our Prickly Pear Cactus is being completely ravaged by snails. Is there something in my yard that could be attracting them? Is there something I can do to keep them off the plant? Also is is safe to...
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Austin, TX
Native groundcovers to replace non-native St. Augustine
I live in west Travis County just south of Lake Austin. My backyard is very shady and does not drain well. I want to spend some time and effort landscaping it. I have thought about Amerishade St. A...
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Austin, TX
Plant identification and seed source
We drove to Fredricksburg this Saturday the 17th and beginning at about Dripping Springs there is a very showy bright yellow wildflower that is so pretty. It probably is about 2' tall. Would love...
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Austin, TX
Deer-proof native plants
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Can you recommend some Deer-proof native plants including shrubs and flowering plants?
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Austin, TX
Are the moths in my Austin, TX live oaks harmful?
It is November and my live oak trees are full of moths. What are they and are they harmful to my trees?
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Austin, TX
Live oak trees dropping leaves in clumps
We have several large mature Live Oak trees in our Austin TX neighborhood. Now that the rains have come back and the acorns are falling, two of our four trees are also dropping large amounts of leave...
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Austin, TX
Thinning of non-native rosemary
I live in NW Austin and have a very large rosemary bush that is having problems this season. We trimmed the bush in early March because the plant was getting too large for the space. It is roughly 3...
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Austin, TX
Finding Viguiera dentata seeds or plants.
I'm trying to locate seeds or plants of Viguiera Dentata, but have been unsuccessful. With the poliferation of these beautiful flowers this fall, I don't understand why I can't locate them. Do you ...
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Austin, TX
Can a mustang grape and an oak coexist in Austin
I have a healthy mustang grape vine growing on an oak in my yard. While the vine provides plenty of good food and a pleasant environment for many birds throughout the year, I feel it is overtaking the...
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Austin, TX
Planting wildflower seed into horseherb in Austin
Can I plant a Texas wildflower seed mix into a stand of Horseherb?
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Austin, TX
Root depth of opuntia
What can you tell me about the depth of roots of the opuntia? Does it vary with different varieties or is there formula to estimate the depth according to the mature size or to the culture - garden ...
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austin, TX
Online list of plants in Wildflower Center gardens
Hi I was able to see some of the wonderful gardens on tour today (gardens on tour)..they were out of the list with plants listed but told me I could find it online...I can not find it..could you ...
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