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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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Questions From Near You

Dripping Springs, TX
Native Plant Suggestions for Dripping Springs
I have a very dry commercial property in Dripping Springs TX where the dry sand/dust isn't a good rain conductor (whenever we get rain). What can we plant there? We have no irrigation and use a rai...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Brown leaves on Burr Oak from Dripping Springs TX
We have recently planted a 15 gal. burr oak in an correct hole with great soil and plenty of watering in. We have noticed some brown leaves. Should we be worried?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Native nightshade that is a host to hornworm-hawk's eye moth
Is there a native nightshade that serves as a host to tomato hornworm/hawks eye moth? I like the moth and as a gardener do not like the hornworm. I would like to have a patch of not terribly toxic nig...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Non-native Meyer lemon problems in Dripping Springs, TX.
I have a Meyer lemon that looks very sick. The leaves, limbs, and fruit all have brownish gold raised spots that are the size of a pin head. The spots on the leaves seem to run along the center of t...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Mowing equipment
My 10 acre property along a creek in N. Hays Co. includes roughly 7 acres that is a woodland / meadow mix. I want to find a mower that I can set to a 6" cutting height, yet anything smaller than a fu...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Bugs eating new growth on Mountain Laurel shrubs from Dripping Springs TX
What is eating the new growth on my mountain laurel shrubs? One plant has red bugs and the other has black (could they be love bugs?). Is there something I can do to preserve the new growth?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Spots on persimmon tree leaves from Dripping Springs TX
We are in rural Hays County Texas off Hamilton Pool Rd Texas. Large persimmon trees are turning yellow, blackish spots on underside of leaves. What do we do?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Will mowing live oak seedlings contribute to Oak Wilt from Dripping Springs TX
I live near Drippings Springs, TX. Will mowing live oak seedlings contribute to the spread of oak wilt?
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Dripping Springs, TX
History of the Texas Bluebonnet
Hi, I'm working on an article for a newspaper and wondered if you could point me in the right direction to find out the history of the bluebonnet. When did it become the state flower? Is it really il...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Live Oak Suckers Reprise, Austin TX
Referring to an entry dated March 11, 2011 about Live Oak suckers - what happened to the suckers covered with newspaper and cardboard?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Berry-looking parasites on live oak leaves
Dripping Springs TX Live oaks. What are these berry looking parasites on my tree's leaves. As many as 4 1/4 in berries per leaf. I have 3 acres with dozens of liveoaks all having them on the leav...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Will recent freezes delay wildflowers from Dripping Springs TX
What effect will the recent freezing temperatures have on the Texas Hill Country Wildflowers? Will it delay blooming? Thank you!
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Dripping Springs, TX
Native grasses for horses
I have 7ac with big and little bluestem. I'm told big is bad. And my horse eats ground veg and not the bluestem. So I'd love to replant the entire tract with something for the horse, deer, and nativ...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Pruning Agarita in the Winter
I recently came upon a small grouping of agarita plants that had been somewhat choked by cedar. Having removed the cedar I noticed there were quite a lot of dead branches within the shrubs. Would Fe...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Advisability of trimming oak trees in August
In general,what is your opinion on pruning oak trees in August? If it is positive, should the extreme moisture of this year affect the timing?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Propagation of Mountain Laurel by seed
I harvested the seed or nut from our Mountain Laurel this spring and I would like to propagate them in containers for at least a year and then transfer them to the ground. I live in Hays County, TX in...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Fall planting time for mixed perennial bed
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Dripping Springs and have constructed four 10-12" raised beds (total of ~600 sqft.) on the Front (NW facing - fairly exposed) side of my house that I would like to ...
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DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX
Identification of 3 small flowers in Hays County, Texas
Trying to identify three (3) wildflowers growing on my property in the northwest corner of Hays Co, all very, very small blooms of about 1 cm. (roughly 1/4 inch): (1) small white blooms with five peta...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Problems for Texas Madrones from Dripping Springs TX
Dear neighbor: I'm blessed with a property with many Texas Madrone on it. I've been trying for a few years to determine what causes apparently healthy trees to suddenly blacken and die. I've con...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Large oak with possible Laetiporus fungus
We have a huge oak tree in front of our new house. After the first rain this fall a large fungal growth appeared in an old knothole of the tree and I would guess that it is Laetiporus. A neighborho...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Root ball disintegrating on Arroyo sweetwood from Dripping Springs TX
I just purchased a arroyo sweetwood in a 5 gallon container and when I went to put it in the ground the root ball completely fell apart. I put it in the ground and watered it really good. What are its...
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