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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

Liberty Hill, TX
Wildflowers of April wedding in Liberty Hill TX
We are planning a wedding for April 9 in Liberty Hill, TX (78642) and live on several acres. We would like to plant wildflowers on the land to use for bouquets and centerpieces. Could you please recom...
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Liberty Hill, TX
Mexican Plum not doing well in Liberty Hill, TX.
Two summers have passed since I planted my Mexican Plum. It's in full sun. It seems to have added height but not much width. It's virtually a 7 foot stick with 1 foot branches from top to bottom. It...
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Liberty Hill, TX
Coral Honeysuckle suitability for Central Texas Fence
I recently purchased a house in Liberty Hill. My backyard is enclosed by an iron fence (painted). I am interested in creating a habitat for birds, so I'm thinking of planting coral honeysuckle vine...
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Liberty Hill, TX
Texas Ash
Where can I purchase a Texas Ash? One native tree nursery advertised Texas Ash but the trees turned out to be Fan-Tex, which I believe is an Arizona Ash cultivar.
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Liberty Hill, TX
Possumhaw losing leaves in Liberty Hill, TX.
I have two female possumhaw trees and one of them is losing its leaves. I planted both of them in February and they were doing very well, getting green and full. What's happening?
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Liberty Hill, TX
Instructions on making wildflower seed balls
About 2 years ago I visited the LBJ Wildflower Center and picked up a sheet that described how to make wildflower seed mud balls. I've lost the sheet and can't find the directions on your site. Ca...
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Liberty Hill, TX
What happened to the bluebonnets?
I was wondering if you could tell me why there weren't any bluebonnets out this year? I live in the Hill Country and drive to Austin everyday. I look forward to seeing the bluebonnets up and down the...
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Liberty Hill, TX
Looking for a source for Texas persimmon tree (Diospyros texana)
I have looked all over for Texas persimmon trees but am having a difficult time finding any for sale. Do you know of any nurseries near Austin or Georgetown that sells them?
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Liberty Hill, TX
Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annua...
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Liberty Hill, TX
Problem With Vegetable Garden Soil
We live in Liberty Hill on 25 acres and we are working to restore native grasses and plants. We are ardent supporters of the Wildflower center. I say this because my question is not "typical" of wh...
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Liberty Hill, TX
Horse ate bark of cedar elm from Liberty Hill, TX
I have three acres with a rental. Planted a Cedar Elm near the porch. My ex-renters allowed their horse to graze around the house. It ate the bark off of the tree. How can I save this tree?
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Liberty Hill, TX
Trimming back freeze damage from Anacacho orchid in Liberty Hill TX
When is it safe to trim back what I think is dead wood on my Anacacho orchid trees (that were hit hard this past winter)? Is there any harm done if I cut back living wood?
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Liberty hill, TX
Alamo vine not blooming in Liberty Hill TX
My Alamo vine is not blooming. It is planted in full sun. The vine looks healthy. Should I fertilize, if so, with what.
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Liberty Hill, TX
Question about a beetle eating bees
I have a beetle that is about index finger or pinkie fingernail size. I have a bee hive and it's eating the bees by injecting it with an inch long probe and sucking out the liquid of my bees.
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Leander, TX
Yellow-blossomed Shrub that Occurs in Arizona and Texas
What is the name of the large shrubs you will see in Arizona with the bright yellow blossoms. They grow wild everywhere, and I also see them in the town. Could you please tell me the name of them, s...
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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
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
Cutting back woody plants after freeze in Leander TX
I have several woody shrubs in a prominent location. Now that the leaves have frozen, how far back should I cut them? These are Flame Acanthus, Salvia ballotiflora, and Aloysia macrostachya, but I w...
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Leander, TX
List of native perennial Texas flowers
Good day, I am searching for a list of native Texas flowers (preferably perennials) for a flower garden. Thank you.
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Leander, TX
Can plants bought at Plant Sale wait a while in Leander TX
I would like to buy some native plants at the upcoming sale at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, but my yard is not ready to receive them. We are building a new house and anticipate being able ...
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Leander, TX
Identification of stinging plant in Central Texas
I live on 15 acres on Nameless Road. When walking on property, occasionally my leg/ankle brushes against some plant that "stings" me. Like little needles in my skin. Doesn't last long, but becau...
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