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

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

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
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

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.
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Non-native purple lantana
I have found some purple trailing lantana on our land. (This land has never been inhabited, as far as I know of.) This is not one of the yellow/pink or yellow/red native varieties. Is this indeed a...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) winter-hardiness in Austin
I have many bi-color irises (dietes bicolor), the freeze in Austin turned them brown. Can I trim them back without harming the plants? If trimming is acceptable, can you give me tips?
view the full question and answer

Austin , TX
Trimming of native Muhlenbergia dumosa (Bamboo grass)
Should Muhlenbergia dumosa (Bamboo grass) be cut down in a similar fashion to other perennial grasses that go dormant in the winter.
view the full question and answer

Austin , TX
Grass or ground cover for sun/part shade in Austin
I live in Southwest Austin (a couple of miles from the Wildflower Center) and I would like to plant some grass in my backyard. I have a small yard with several oak trees and they have been cut back to...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Sowing grass for shaded lawn in Texas
I'm renting a home for short period of time, hence I would like to make this as simple, but as beneficial as possible. The backyard soil is degraded and compacted so I would like to try and use a "...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Native, deer-resistant flowering plants attractive to bees
I am adding several beehives to our property this spring. I would also like to add more native, flowering, deer-resistant plants that bees love as well. Any recommendations? I live in SW Austin, qui...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds
Can you put too much coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Erosion control on 30-ft. berms in Manor, TX
The Austin Rifle Club has recently re stacked its over 30ft high backstops. We know their will be erosion to these earthen berms. We need some suggestions on what to plant. Our club is a traini...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Bur oak bark damage done by deer
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Just noticed that deer have been rubbing the bark on good sized, but young, bur oaks planted last spring. Mostly in one spot on one side of the trunk. Will this kill the ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Evergreen replacement for liveoaks with oak wilt in Austin
One day after moving into our very first home and first home in Texas (just north of the Wildflower center in Sendera Southwest Austin) we discovered that all of our Live Oaks have Oak Wilt. After tre...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Determination of the sex of Mexican persimmon (Diospyros texana)
Last spring, I planted a persimmon fruit from a Mexican Persimmon. I now have 6 small seedlings coming up. Since they all came from the same seed source - 1 black persimmon, will they all be male tree...
view the full question and answer

austin, TX
Use of surfactants with herbicide for water
I read the article on frogs and the use of Rodeo. Your answer was correct, but to the best of my knowledge, Rodeo is approved for use near water only because it lacks a surfactant. When surfactant...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Plants for a bioswale or rain garden
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What plants do you recommend for a bioswale or rain garden in Austin, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Plant fans for choosing native plants for the Central Texas region
Has anyone created a plant "fan" that identifies and gives pertinent information on plants for the Central Texas region? The sample that I've found on fourpebblepress.com seems to cover the Rocky ...
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
When do bluebonnets bloom in Austin
When do Blue Bonnets bloom in Austin? We have someone who wants to come visit and see the Blue Bonnets and I want to tell them the right time of year.. Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Panels for greenhouse in Austin
I am building a greenhouse for my plants here in Austin and and will be using PVC panels for the roof. Which would be better for starting and growing plants the clear or the white panels?
view the full question and answer

Austin, TX
Trees to replace Ligustrums, and evergreen vines for privacy screen
We had 3 ligustrum trees growing along a creek bank in our back yard and under the City of Austin power lines. Our backyard is on a terrace about 7 feet above the creek's flood plain. The Ligustrums ...
view the full question and answer

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