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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

Leander, TX
Dividing Gulf muhly in Leander TX
I purchased a 1-gallon pot of Gulf Muhly (muhlenbergia capillaris) and am wondering if I can divide the clump in order to make my purchase go further. And, regarding that method of propagation, could...
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Leander, TX
Native Texas Hill Country nitrogen-fixing plants
Please help me find a listing of native (TX Hill Country) nitrogen-fixing plants.
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Leander, TX
Whether Venus flytrap (dionaea muscipula) is endangered
I am a 4th grader at Whitestone Elementary School in Leander, Texas. I am in the Quest program and I am doing a project on the venus flytrap and would like to ask you some questions. 1. Is there an ...
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Leander, TX
Flowers that attract Queen butterflies
Walking into the cloud of Queen butterflies around my Gregg's Mistflowers is one of the coolest things I've ever experienced, so I started wondering how I could prolong this "visitation". Can you...
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Leander, TX
Soapberry Transplant shock symptoms
Please suggest a cause & cure for general yellowing of the leaves of Western Soapberry when planted in the ground 20 miles NW of Austin (thin, poor clay over limestone). Trees still in containers are...
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Leander, TX
Control of borers attacking Prunus serotina
Where can I find information to control borers that seem to attack only Prunus serotina v. exemia?
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Leander, TX
Determining gender of Texas Hill Country native trees
How can I identify which (Tx Hill Country) native trees are separate male & female? Specifically Tx Pistache and American Smoke Tree. Do I have to wait until they flower and inspect the flower for c...
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Leander, TX
Identity of plant called 'Bell-flowered Yucca' associated with Lynn Lowrey
Please help identify a plant, the seeds of which are labeled "Bell Flowered Yucca" and " H. lowyrii" (or, presumably, some variant of Lynn Lowrey's name). I believe that this seed was collected ...
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Leander, TX
Problem with Arizona Ash in Leander TX
What would make my otherwise healthy Arizona Ash tree, that was doing so well last year, only bud out on just one side?
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Leander, TX
Lantana isn't blooming in Leander, TX.
I bought a small potted New Gold Lantana about 2-1/2 weeks ago. I planted it in full sun and covered it with mulch. The few original flowers have fallen off. Although, I see a couple of new buds, ...
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Leander, TX
Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
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Leander, TX
Fronds turning brown on yucca in Leander, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live Northwest of Austin in Leander and have grown a spanish dagger yucca for several years. It is 8 feet tall and each spring it puts up a showy spike of blooms. The old fr...
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Leander, TX
Identification of eleagnus-like shrub
There is a plant on our land I can't identify. It has a tree-like smooth light gray "trunk", with leaves similar to an eleagnus (grayish green and rough on top, lighter underneath). I can't find...
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Leander, TX
Problems with Mountain Laurel in Leander TX
My 13 yr old Mountain Laurel tree is sick. It has lost most of its leaves after blooming this spring. The twigs seem to still be pliable so I assume alive. I saw no moth worms or bags this year, ju...
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Leander, TX
Container plant in difficult sun exposure from Leander TX
HELP!!!! I have a large Mexican terracotta pot on my front porch. This awkward area is facing westward, so receives the full dose of Texas sun after about 3 pm onward. Now here's the catch; my fr...
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Leander, TX
Specimen evergreen for sun in Central Texas
I'm soliciting suggestions for a specimen plant for a new garden we're building. It will be planted in a 3' square raised (18") Limestone bed. It will be full sun, Western exposure, and relative...
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Leander, TX
Grass identification books for Texas
We live northwest of Austin, on Nameless Road. Have MANY types of native grasses--can you recommend a good book, with photos, to use in identifying? Also, what native grasses are good for attracting...
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Leander, TX
Planting wildflower seeds in Texas in February
I would like to plant some wildflowers this month - February. I have planted some bluebonnets and they will "bloom" in March/April. Would there be any wildflowers that would also bloom in Marc...
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Leander, TX
Central Texas plant to grow in cavity in cedar (Juniperus ashei)
Is there a CenTX native that would be happy in a one-gallon cavity in a Cedar tree? I'd like to disguise an amputated limb. I'd consider a Bromeliad or Staghorn fern, but would prefer a native.
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Leander, TX
Determining ripeness of seeds of Crotonn texensis
How can I tell when the seeds of Croton texensis are "ripe"?
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Leander, TX
Wildflower gardening in Leander , TX
I live in Leander, Texas. I bought a couple of seed mixes last fall, and had wonderful wildflowers growing all along our fences, all spring and into the first part of the summer before it got way too ...
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