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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

Cedar Park, TX
Plants to accompany cactus and agave
What plants would look well with cactus and agave to soften the look of spikiness? Also, a homeowner in our association wants the association to plant a pyracantha at the corner of the street to preve...
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Cedar Park, TX
Vine for shady planter from Cedar Park TX
We bought a home in Central Texas and inherited several raised-bed planters. One of the planters is set up to grow a vine, but it's in a part of the yard that is mostly in the shade of a tree. Is t...
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Cedar Park, TX
Comment on previous answer from Austin
Ms Bradford, You just answered my question about St. Augustine grass.. actually, you didn't answer it.. You said "sorry, wrong number". Very funny. I think you misunderstood... I would rather no...
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Cedar Park, TX
When to transplant volunteer Cedar Elms in Cedar Park, TX?
We have a number of volunteer cedar elms we would like to transplant. When is the best time to do this? Should they be potted first and later transplanted or transplanted immediately? Thanks.
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Cedar Park, TX
Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
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Cedar Park, TX
Alternative to Carolina Cherry Laurel in Cedar Park TX
I love the look of the Carolina Cherry Laurel but hear that its berries are poisonous and can harm my dog if he eats them. What are some other alternatives that have a similar look; I'm looking for ...
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Cedar Park, TX
Cenizo for border of school garden from Cedar Park TX
Hi. We're starting a school garden in Central Texas, and instead of building a fence along one side, we'd like to plant a hedge. Ideally, it would grow tall enough to deter deer from jumping over, b...
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Cedar Park, TX
Where can seeds or plants of Ruellia nudiflora be obtained from Cedar Park TX
Where can I purchase Ruellia nudiflora seeds or plants?
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Cedar Park, TX
Need an evergreen shrub to hide a concrete wall and not attract bees in Cedar Park, TX
I am looking for an evergreen shrub that I can plant in our yard to hide a 3' concrete wall. The area receives full sun during the day, and we would like something that is drought resistant. We also ...
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Cedar Park, TX
Why did the blossoms on my mountain laurels dry up before they flowered?
Why did the blossoms on my mountain laurels dry up before they flowered?
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Cedar Park, TX
Brown spots on live oak leaves in Cedar Park, TX.
I have a live oak that was planted 4 years ago. It had several brown spots last summer, but recovered over the winter. Now it has lots of brown leaves and looks very sad. What is the best way to he...
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Cedar Park, TX
Will drought-stricken non-native St. Augustine come back in Cedar Park TX
I recently bought a new house but the grass in the yard looked completely dead (bought house in Nov) even though the neighbor's grass was still green. The previous owner stopped watering the grass (e...
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Cedar Park, TX
Cardboard or newsprint for mulch from Cedar Park TX
What is your opinion on using cardboard and/or newspaper for mulch in flower beds or around trees?
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Cedar Park, TX
Curling lower leaves on live oak in Cedar Park, TX
I have noticed that one of my live oak tree, the leaves on the bottom of the tree have stared to curl. The leaves above that look fine. The trees are about 12 yrs old. Any suggestions?
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Cedar Park, TX
Plants for a drainage easement in central Texas
I have a 1/3 acre of drainage easement behind my home. I would like to cover it with wildflowers. It is only wet during or shortly after a rain and otherwise does not have water. I have channelled ...
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Cedar Park, TX
Pinus taeda (Loblolly pines) for a property in Van Zandt County, Texas
I want to initiate a stand of loblolly pine trees on our property in Van Zandt County in NE Texas. Assuming the ph factor is within range, how do I obtain seedings for this endeavor? Any other advic...
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Cedar Park, TX
Pin Oak Dropping Leaves Early
I have a large pin oak that's losing it's leaves at this time. Is this too early? I have been watering the tree during the hot, dry weather and overall the tree looks healthy and has a good crop of ...
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Cedar Park, TX
Native plants for landscaping backyard in Central Texas
We are starting from scratch in our backyard (approx. 200'x60')in Central Texas (Cedar Park). The yard faces West. What do you recommend for plants, trees, shrubs and grass that are native and will ...
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Cedar Park, TX
When to Plant Texas Wisteria?
When is the best time to plant Texas Wisteria, Fall or Spring?
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Cedar Park, TX
Bracket fungus on live oaks
I live in Cedar Park and the house we just bought has 4 native live oaks growing in the front yard. On two of the live oaks there are bracket fungi growing at their base. Each tree just produced two n...
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Cedar park, TX
Grassy "weed" invasion in Bermuda grass lawn
Our grass is being totally overrun by this weed.(I don't know what the name is but I do know it's not the dandelion weed or the thin grassy weed). It is Bermuda grass and I really don't know how to...
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