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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
Why is cedar pollen so heavy this year?
Dear Mr Smarty, Is this year a heavier than normal year for cedar pollen?? If so why?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Apache Pine for Dripping Springs, TX.
Is the Apache Pine tree a good choice for planting in alkaline soil with excellent drainage?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Propagation of an agave from Dripping Springs TX
Hi there, I have a Century Agave in my backyard. It is over 6 feet tall and is now producing the center stalk. I understand that means the plant is going to die. My question is how to harvest the pups...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Weedy buffalo grass from Dripping Springs, TX
I have a buffalo grass lawn. It is thin and filled with weeds. I would like to find a solution to improve my lawn. I prefer a native grass but I need to be able to control the weeds and I am not ph...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Pros and cons of live oak leaves left on ground in Dripping Springs TX
What are the pros or cons of leaving live oak leaves on the ground around trees or bushes?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Sumac Leaves Turning Red
Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently planted a flowering sumac bush. Is it normal for that plant to get fall leaf-color? About a week after planting it, the temp reached the mid-30s, and after that, I ...
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Bluebonnets emerging early after cool, wet spring
Typically I see bluebonnet seedlings begin to erupt in the early Fall. But this year, I began to see seedlings almost immediately after my crop went to seed. In fact, it is now early August and I ha...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Germination of golden dalea seeds
I have collected some golden dalea seeds. I live west of Austin in caliche soil. How would one germinate these seeds? What time of year should I plant them? What kind of seed treatment? Should I scari...
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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
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
Severely cutback sloping soil in Dripping Springs TX
We have 5.5 acres off Henly Loop just north of Hwy 290 about 10 miles west of Dripping Springs, TX. The former property owners carved out soil from a sloping area to get soil for the driveway. Doing ...
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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
Information on non-native, invasive pampas grass
Our neighborhood is doing a community landscaping project and pampas grass has been suggested. Is there a good article related to invasives that specifically mention pampas grass?
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