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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

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
Jasminum polyanthum Deer Resistant and Native?
Are Jasminum polyanthum deer resistant? They are selling these plants at Trader Joe's right now so I'm assuming it's native to our area. But the instructions don't say anything about deer.
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Dripping Springs, TX
Does Possumhaw need full sun for a bountiful crop of berries?
I planted a possumhaw last year in a sunny location, however as the season changed the plant became shaded by a large Ashe juniper all through the winter. No berries this winter, but it is a young pla...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Controlling KR Bluestem
How can I control KR Bluestem in my 55 acre coastal bermuda hayfield? The field has a Farm Road along one side planted in KR, and now the hayfield is about 25 - 30% KR. Summer burn is fairly dangerous...
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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
Failure of TX bluebonnets to thrive
We have had extraordinary luck with bluebonnets growing in our driveway of decomposed granite--until last year and this year. The bluebonnets seem to be drying up and wilting away. The ones in other a...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if the...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Bluebonnets Emerging in December
Bluebonnets Emerging in December. We've seen bluebonnets emerging all over our property in the last two weeks. I don't ever remember seeing them come up this early. What will be the impact on t...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Landscape designers for Texas Hill Country
I need to locate a landscape designer for a Texas Hill Country property. Can you help?
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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
Rose canker in roses on cedar posts
While visiting the wildflower Center I saw that some of the plants were growing on trellis' made of posts cut from cedar trees. I made a trellis for my climbing rose bush and where the stems touched...
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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
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
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
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
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
Advisability of growing Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
I just received a load of clay-mix-dirt - and after our recent rains noticed the pile sprouting what looks like "Milk Thistle." Lots of them. The leaves are spiny and variegated - quite pretty. ...
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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
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
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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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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