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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

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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Questions From Near You

Austin , Texas, TX
Clipping of beans from newly planted Tecoma stans
I purchased a Esperanza Plant in a pot from a nursery in April of 2008. We planted it and it is doing fine, but came with blooms and beans. Do I need to do clip or prune the beans at this stage of g...
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Manchaca, TX
Possibility of using vinegar solutions for weed control
What is your suggestion about the control of weeds - do you consider vinegar solutions environmentally friendly?
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Manchaca, TX
Grey Goo Coming from red Oak in Manchaca TX
I have a large Red Oak in my yard that appears to be weeping some sort of grey goo from parts of the trunk. What is this goo and do I need to treat it and if so how? I'm happy to come by the Wildflow...
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Manchaca, TX
Patio Privacy Screen Suggestions for Central Texas
I have just built a patio and want to plant some small trees, bushes or shrubs to form a visual barrier (rather than to erect a fence)to the neighbors yard.
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Manchaca, TX
Name of the cedar tree at Lake Travis
What is the name of the cedar tree that is at Lake Travis?
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Manchaca, TX
Vines for shade in Central Texas
We'd like to fill in our long expanse of yard fencing with climbing vines. We are limited by 40' live oaks that cut off the sun but surely something works in the shade and heat!
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Manchaca, TX
Goldenrod recommendations for Buda, TX
I am looking for a Solidago species Goldenrod that is non-invasive and suited to the area around Austin/ Buda, TX. I prefer to use a native, non-hybrid, especially since I am adjacent to a wild area. ...
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Manchaca, TX
Tree transplants having problems in Manchaca TX
I have recently transplanted a Mexican Buckeye, Chinquapin oak, and Sandpaper tree that I have been raising inside since they were seedlings. They have now developed a browning of the tips of their l...
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Manchaca , TX
Invasiveness of Oenothera speciosa?
Hello! I received a large package of Oenothera speciosa seeds and would like to plant them this month. I've read elsewhere that they can choke out out other plants and am wondering to what degree thi...
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Sunset Valley, TX
Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
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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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Buda, TX
Red maple with burnt leaves in Buda TX
I planted a red maple last fall. Planted in full sun here in Buda Texas. The leaves are yellowing and then they dry out completely almost looks burnt. Problem starts in middle of leaf and then works i...
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Buda, TX
Splitting bark on non-native mimosa from Buda TX
What would cause my Mimosa tree to have splitting bark. I've only lived in this house for 8 months and am learning about this tree. The other tree seems fine. It looks as though it split and then ...
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Buda, TX
ID for two flowers blooming in November in Buda TX
two different plants growing in my wild area. 1. springs of tiny yellow flowers atop almost foot tall woody stem. 2. Clump of tiny near white bud like flowers. clump about 6 to 8 inches across on ...
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Buda, TX
When is best time to transplant Ezperanza shrubs in Buda, TX?
I need to transplant 2 huge Esperanza's...when is the best time to uproot them and not kill them?
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Buda, TX
Leaves on non-native Confederate Jasmine dry up in Buda TX
Leaves on star or confederate jasmine vine dry up. Not due to lack of water and I can't find any insect damage. Starts with one shoot and then spreads to entire plant. I will try to attach picture...
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Buda, TX
Using Erosion Mats to Discourage Deer in Buda, Texas
I have a small back yard that has turned into a throughway for a large herd of deer. Whenever I try to grow grass the deer pull out the grasses. The more I water it, the more deer traffic. I was wo...
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Buda, TX
Vine for 60 foot long by 2 foot high cinder block wall
Looking for a vine to cover a 60 foot long 2 foot high cinder block wall.
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Buda, TX
Danger of lichens damaging trees
My mom lives east of Buda, Texas where she has planted many different kinds of trees, which are all over 10 years old. Now, they all have a moss or lichen growing on the bark of the trees. She is worr...
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Buda, TX
When is the best time to transplant Esperanza bushe in Buda, TX?
When is the best time to transplant an Esperanza bush? I want to move it because it is overwhelming my front yard. Thank you,
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Buda, TX
Caring for Texas Buckeye in Buda TX
I have a Texas Buckeye that is planted in a moderate amount of shade. It is growing very slowly, and only holds on to it's leaves from late March to August. It has been in the ground for about 4-5 ye...
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