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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

Wimberley, TX
Harvesting seeds on the American basket flower (Centaurea americana)
Where are the seeds on an American basket flower? How do I get them out to propagate them? When can you get them out? Thank you.
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Wimberley, TX
Is December a good time to prune oaks in Central Texas?
Given that we haven't had much cold weather here in central Texas (Wimberley) this season, is it a good time to trim live and Spanish oak trees (damaged limbs and low hanging branches and suckers)? ...
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Wimberley, TX
Cutting back Pampas grass.
When and how much should I cut back Pampas grass in the Hill Country of Texas.
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Wimberley, TX
Do prairie verbenas (Glandularia bipinnatifida) have toxic sap?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Wimberley, TX and my 6 year old daughter picked wildflowers for her Mom over the weekend. I believe the species was Prairie Verbena but not 100% certain. Now, fo...
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Wimberley, TX
Evergreen vine for Wimberley, Texas
I live in the hill country in Wimberley Texas. I am looking for a fast growing, blooming evergreen vine for a privacy lattice wall between small houses. Can you recommend one of several plants? Thank ...
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Wimberley, TX
Small plants for space between stones on a path
We've just installed a stone path (unmortared) near our house and are looking for plants/seeds that would do well in the gaps between the flagstones. Naturally they need to be very low growing and h...
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Wimberley, TX
Propagation of Texas madrone (Arbutus xalapensis)
I have seeds from a madrone tree and would like to know if you have had success propagating a madrone and if so, could you give me some tips, because I hear it can be tricky.
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Wimberley, TX
Hybridized Indigo Spires having problems in Wimberley, TX
I planted 7 Indigo Spires from one gallon containers in May and now each plant is about 18" tall. 4 of the 7 fell over about 2 weeks are. The plants still look healthy with no dropped or curled leav...
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Wimberley, TX
Deer-resistant plants for Central Texas
I live in a community that is overrun with deer, thanks to neighbors who feed them daily. I am looking for TRUE deer resistant plants for beds...they have eaten my lantana, salvia, esperanza, jasmine...
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Wimberley, TX
Using cedar chips as mulch in Wimberley, TX
In TX Hlll Country there is an abundance of wood chips, usually "cedar", which I have used as plant mulch. Since wood chips extract nitrogen to decay, do you consider chips a poor choice as plant m...
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Wimberley, TX
Failure to thrive of desert willow in Wimberley TX
I have a desert willow. It is always, whether I water it or leave it alone, yellow/ brown leaves, dark spots on the leaves, losing leaves. now it looks sad and not very healthy. Can you please tell m...
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Copperas Cove, TX
Transplant shock in Chinkapin oak from Copperas Cove TX
I have a newly planted chinkapin oak, appx 14' tall, in the Copperas Cove TX area. It has done great for the first two weeks. Now the leaves are yellowing (June) and beginning to dry up. I water it ...
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Wimberley, TX
Control of King Ranch Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum)
What is the best way to get rid of King Ranch Grass (an invasive plant) on my half acre property? I felt like mowing just encouraged more seed heads to pop up.
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Wimberley, TX
Poverty Weed in Wimberley, Texas
I have seen differing reports about the native plant, Baccharis neglecta or Poverty Weed. Some reports say it is invasive and others consider it an acceptable native plant. I have quite a few Povert...
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Wimberley, TX
Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
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Wimberley, TX
What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas
Hi, On a recent trip to South Padre Island, we noticed a large number of beautiful long leaf pines. I asked several residents what the name was but no one knew. I have searched and googled trying...
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Wimberley, TX
Shredded hardwood for mulch
I intend to landscape a section of my new property. but want to wait until the cold weather has passed. I have pets that will be contained within a fenced-in area that has some wild grasses but also ...
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Wimberley, TX
Bouteloua dactyloides to cover septic field in Texas
I need plants that can be seeded or plugged to cover a septic field at a new home on Lake Travis. What about turffalo? Other suggestions?
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Wimberley, TX
Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage
What is the best way to protect Texas Madrone trees (small, 8'-10') from damage during construction of a new home on a site with some single, some grouped Madrones?
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Wimberley, TX
Removing competition of mustang grapes from live oaks
We have several native mustang grape vines on our rural property that seem to be taking over the live oaks on which they are becoming entwined. Is it advisable to remove them or are they harmless? And...
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Wimberley, TX
Live oak sprouts in lawn and flower beds
I have several live oak trees that keep putting up sprouts in my lawn and flower beds. Is there any way to prevent this ?
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