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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

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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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
Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
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Austin, TX
Problems with Mexican feathergrass in Austin
All of my mexican feathergrass plants have died or gone dormant, laying down flat for the most part. Any idea what's going on with them?
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Austin, TX
Planting star hibiscus seeds from Austin
TX star hibiscus seeds. How & when to plant in ground & in pots. Thank you, Carol
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Austin, TX
Plant identification
I live in Austin. Texas. My garden has been lying fallow for several seasons and earlier this week I started clearing the weeds and wild flowers in hopes of getting our vegetable garden started again...
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Austin, TX
Native Groundcover for High Activity Location in Austin, TX
Howdy! We live in South Austin and have a smallish backyard that we're perennially working on. We have two young, very active dogs that spend a lot of time RUNNING and we never can keep ground cover ...
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Austin, TX
Cherry laurels next to retaining wall in Austin
My neigbors have 2 cherry laurel trees in their back yard planted within 4 feet of my retaining wall and fence. I am worried the root system will damage my retaining wall. The branches are already pus...
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Austin, TX
Evergreen shrub for part shade in Austin
I am planning a pocket prairie on the north side of my house. Where I am struggling is finding an evergreen shrub that will grow about 6-8', be native and provide semi-privacy in front of a bedroom ...
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Austin, TX
Non-native Meyer lemon not bearing fruit in Austin
I have had a meyer lemon for 9 years and it has never produced fruit. What do I do? It has beautiful leaves and thorns but no fruit. Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants
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Austin, TX
Non-native invasive Asian jasmine in greenbelt in Austin
How can I convince the people that live next to me to control their Asian jasmine? We have a small greenbelt owned by the City behind our houses and they have let it grow until it is ruining the gree...
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Austin, TX
Fighting Sandburs with Bluebonnets in Austin, Planting Bluebonnets in Caliche soil
Mr. Smarty Plants, In my continuing fight against sandspurs I've decided that if I plant a copious amount of bluebonnets seeds that the foliage will choke out the sandspurs because bluebonnets set...
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Austin, TX
Invasive, non-native Cherokee rose in Elgin TX
We have property in Elgin, TX in Bastrop county which has the red sandydirt-loam. The original owners from the 30's, must have liked the Cherokee rose. The problem is that it is planted around our ...
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Austin, TX
Removing suckers from Escarpment oak in Austin
I have a small but mature grove of Escarpment Live Oak in my back yard. Five years ago we removed the St. Augustine grass that grew under these oaks and since then root suckers have begun to grow aro...
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Austin, TX
Need evergreen privacy screen for Austin, Texas
I need an evergreen privacy screen. I live in southern Travis County and have a 450 ft property line that has a view to about 10 -12 neighbors back yards. I need something that won't be nibbled by ...
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Austin, TX
What are the webs floating in the air? Are they harmful to plants?
Austin, TX has experienced fall weather for the past week..low humidity, nice temps, sunny skies. But long webs are connecting from trees to our plants to the porch. Not on the trunk of the tree like ...
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Austin, TX
Disposal of non-native invasive clerodendron
What do you do about clerodendron that is spreading like wildfire. A friend gave me one plant before I was acquainted with invasives!!
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Austin, TX
Non-native invasive creeping fig on oak tree
I have a creeping fig in a pot that sits next to an oak tree. It took to the tree as a trellis and looks beautiful. My question is: is it doing the tree any harm?
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Austin, TX
Cool, wet summer effect on evergreen sumac
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 3 evergreen sumac bushes that I planted as a screen between my house and my neighbors two years ago. They are located in a part of our yard that receives a lot of runof...
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