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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

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
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
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
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
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
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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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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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
Wildlife management tax exemption
I live on 10 acres of prairie land near Austin. I want to learn about drying and pressing and gluing and preserving wildflowers as art in pictures and bookmarks and cards. My attempts have failed an...
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Buda, TX
Optimal time to separate and transplant black-eyed Susan
When is the optimal time to separate or transplant black eyed Susan. I have some in a planter on my patio, but it has multiplied and become too crowded for the pot; it needs water daily.
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Buda, TX
Differentiating between Iles decidua and Ilex vomitoria
Is there any way to tell a male possum haw holly from a female? I have a possum haw that never lost all of it's leaves and has no berries. Could it be a male?
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Buda, TX
Best places to obtain native plants
Where is the best place to get native plants ?
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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
Need small, fast growing trees for privacy screen in Buda, TX.
Please recommend some small, but fast growing, flowering trees to plant along a western fence for privacy
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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
Fast growing, tall evergreens for privacy in Buda, Texas
I need to plant fast growing tall evergreens along a western 6 ft privacy fence. The function is privacy, and sound deadening. Our western privacy fence is along a 2 way noisy highway. Please advise a...
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buda, TX
Tag on oak tree in Buda, TX
I found a large oak tree on my property with a tag that has a number on it. Any idea what that means?
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Buda, TX
Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
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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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