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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

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
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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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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Austin, TX
Deer resistant, drought and shade tolerant plants to go under oak tree in Austin
What is the best deer resistant, drought resistant native plant to grow under my huge Oak tree? Grass does not grow. Will iris bloom?
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Austin, TX
Blue-green bees
Over a month ago I sent this query to the AAS Garden Editor. What a waste of time since she exhibited no knowledge and no interest. Finally, she told me to ask you about the green bees that came by in...
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Austin, TX
Searching for seeds or plants of non-native Euphorbia peplus seeds from Austin
I am looking for Euphorbia Peplus seeds or plants to grow for skin cancer treatment. Do you have seeds or plants? Thanks!!
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Austin , TX
Native vines to cover limestone walls in Austin
We are moving into a house in Austin that has three tiered 5'- 6' retaining walls in the back yard. They are huge and somewhat of an eye sore. We have some cool landscaping ideas to make the most ...
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Austin, TX
Sides for raised gardens
I am wanting to put in raised gardens. What is the best product for the sides? Wood? If so, what kind? Thank you
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Austin, TX
Identity of plant at Zilker Botanical Gardens
I am trying to identify a large flowering shrub I saw at Zilker Botanical Gardens. The bloom looks like a small chrysanthemum bloom that has been ruffled. The bloom are yellow, white, or pink. We h...
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Austin, TX
Possible to grow Inland Sea Oats in Oklahoma?
Would it be possible to grow inland sea oats in Southeast Oklahoma? Is this within the range of this plant? I am asking on behalf of my cousin in OK.
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Austin, TX
How can I prune my Texas Mountain Laurels to be more tree-like?
I planted several Texas Mountain Laurels last spring and would like to train them to be more tree-like rather than shrub-like. Each is around 36" tall with 5-10 trunks coming from the ground. Where...
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Austin, TX
Groundcover for sun/part shade in Austin
I live in Southwest Austin and I have a small backyard that has part sun/part shade. I have no grass in the backyard and my soil is not the healthiest, so I would like to plant some groundcover versus...
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Austin, TX
Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stu...
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Austin, TX
Too late to begin planting in May in Austin?
Is it too late to begin planting in May? I live in Austin Texas and have finally completed my plans for a native Texas landscaping (plants and grass) of my front yard. I'd like to get the landscapi...
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Austin, TX
Should wait to trim Inland Sea Oats until all seeds have been dropped from Austin
Regarding Inland Sea Oats: I trimmed the stalks that have lost all the seeds. Should I trim the rest of the stalks or wait until all seeds have dropped?
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Austin, TX
Mid-summer watering needs of non-native dwarf Meyer Lemon tree in Austin
I live in Central Texas outside Austin city limits. I've recently purchased a dwarf Meyer lemon tree and planted it in a large pot. It's doing very well. I will be out-of-state from July through ...
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Austin, TX
Fall blooming time for Copper Canyon Daisies
None of our Copper Canyon Daisies bloomed this year. Can you tell us why? They have been prolific bloomers in past summers.
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Austin, TX
Choice of shade trees from the City of Austin
I have a choice of three shade trees from the city of Austin. They are Live Oak, Elm, Cedar. Although I am happy to have a free tree, I think the choices are not the best for my home. I have a small ...
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Austin, TX
Wildflower succession from Austin
I am interested in learning about a wildflower "cycle" (not sure of a better term). I recently saw the Wildflower special on PBS that talked briefly about an area that had wildflowers that naturally...
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Austin , TX
Caring for non-native African violet
How do you care for the African violet?
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