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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Questions From Near You

Jonestown, TX
Plants for seeping hillside and muddy bottom area
We live on the north side of Lake Travis. About half acre of our property is currently planted with natives. The other half consists of a huge limestone ledge, a steep slope with little soil that seep...
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Jonestown/Leander, TX
Native plants for Jonestown/Leander
Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, I am new to Texas we bought a house here in Jonestown/Leander that has absolutely no plant life whatsoever I was wondering if you could provide me with the names of some drough...
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Volente, TX
Evergreen tree for privacy screen
I live out in the hill country in Volente, TX. I'm looking for a fast growing, native evergreen tree variety that would make a good privacy screen. I don't want a hedge, but I do want to replace a...
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Volente, TX
Help with native plants suffering from drought and heat
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, HELP!!! I live on Lake Travis outside Austin and we planted our yard this spring with lots of wonderful native plants. Now most of them look like they are dying (in particu...
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Lago Vista, TX
Thuja arborvitae not thriving in Austin
I planted 5 giant thuja arborvitae two years ago. They have grown six inches and aren't doing that well. I live in Austin Texas and it was a hot summer. I water them 2x a week, now 1x a week. They a...
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Lago Vista, TX
Spineless prickly pear from Lago Vista TX
We visited Lady Bird Johnson Center yesterday. I was impressed with the spine less prickly pear cactus. Is it a native or a hybrid?
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Lago Vista, TX
Winter trimming of Greggs mistflower
Do I cut my gregg's mist back to the ground for the winter or just leave it alone?
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Lago Vista, TX
Stressed Texas persimmon, Diospyros texana
I planted a 5' Texas Persimmon last May..it is watered by drip irrigation and has done well, putting on lots of new leaves and looking healthy as can be. That is, until several days ago when it began...
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Lago Vista, TX
How do I prepare blackfoot daisies for winter in Austin, TX
I have blackfoot daisies in my garden that have bloomed all summer. They are cascading out of the bed onto my lawn/grass. They have been so beautiful that I hate to cut them back. How do I prepare t...
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Lago Vista, TX
Need suggestions for native grasses to stabilize hillside Lago Vista, TX.
I was hoping for some advice. We live on a hillside near Lake Travis. 10-12 years ago I removed all cedar trees. There is approximately 1-2 acrees of steep land between our residence and the lake. ...
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Lago Vista, TX
Making cuttings from purple sage in Austin, TX.
I would like to plant additional purple sage for landscaping. May I do this with cuttings from an existing adult plant? If so, how and when would be the best method? I live in Lago Vista, TX
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Lago Vista, TX
Tree protection during construction
What measures can/should be taken to ensure the health, future of live oaks while building a new home? There are many small to medium oaks on this property, some very close to the house site and the o...
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Lago Vista, TX
Deer resistance of non-native Loropetalum
I love Loropetalum (Plum Delight). Is it Deer Resistant?
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Lago Vista, TX
Deer-resistant native ground cover for part sun in Lago Vista TX
Looking for a ground cover in an area that gets partial sun, is level and good drainage. Area is 10' x 20'. Thought about Trachelospermun Asiaticum (Asiatic Jasmine) but what ever I go with it has t...
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Lago Vista, TX
Failure to bloom of red yucca from Lago Vista TX
I am in Lago Vista - trying to find out why I can't get my red yucca to bloom. The first year they were great and now after two or three years - no measurable spikes have shown up. HELP!
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Lago Vista, TX
Transplanting live oaks in summer
I have a need to transplant a live oak tree on a home building site. The need is now, the house is almost completely built out and the owners did not prep the site by moving trees or prepping them to ...
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Lago Vista, TX
Companion plants for irises
Hello...what do you suggest as a companion plant for irises? I live in the Texas Hill Country. Thanks.
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Lago Vista, TX
Technique of using cut flowers to make paper
Have an inquiry regarding how to locate (or if such a craft/technique exists) someone or some service that is aware of a process to take fresh-cut flowers & dry & press them into paper or onto paper t...
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Lago Vista, TX
Late planting plum tree from Lago Vista, TX
I have two plum trees in plastic containers that I purchased in March. For a lot of reasons, we didn't get them planted. I have kept them alive by watering consistently, but I am now wondering what...
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Lago Vista, TX
Transplanting seedlings washed out of area by rain
I sowed a rather large area in my wild back yard in wildflowers. There is no grass. A few weeks later after we had been watering them because of no rain (in Sept), we got way too much rain and many o...
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Lago Vista, TX
Pruning of crepe myrtles
I have three crepe myrtle trees in my yard. When do I trim back the branches? What if I waited too long to trim them back? Can I still do it? How far do I trim them back? Thank you.
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