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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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Cedar Park, TX
Non-native gardenia in Cedar Park, TX
My gardenia, which is planted in a large pot, drops the buds before they bloom. What do I need to do. I already fertilize it with gardenia food.
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cedar park, TX
Autumn flowering Texas wildflowers
Where might I get a list of autumn flowering Texas wildflowers?
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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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Cedar Park, TX
Native alternatives for invasive species
I'm a native plant landscape designer in central Texas, and know our plants well. Still looking for any help I can get on replacements for Asian jasmine, English ivy, Nandina, and Red tipped photin...
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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
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
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
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
More on bluebonnets
I have had an area in my yard where I have established bluebonnets. Since we had such a dismal showing in the spring of 2006 I was looking forward to a great show for 2007. Lo and behold I had about...
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Cedar Park, TX
Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
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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
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
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
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
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
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
Seeds for invasive, non-native Erodium cicutarium
I rec'd the following e-mail from a friend in he Chicago area. I looked for about an hour and couldn't find a place to get weed seeds. She thinks we are in the desert here and apparently are so rura...
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Cedar Park, TX
Identification of small purplish/pink flower with ferny leaves
There is a totally adorable tiny flower blooming right now in my lease pasture near the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, TX. It has a rosette of 2"-3" ferny leaves circling a very tiny (1/4") purp...
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Cedar Park, TX
Buffalo grass and other native grass for lawn in Central Texas
Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX - recently moved to into a newly built house. I wanted to put some native grass (like buffalo) in the back yard. - My back yard has slope (away from house) and front...
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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
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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