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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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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

Wimberley , TX
Failure to bloom of one of two Texas persimmons from Wimberly TX
Last year my son planted two texas persimmon trees. One is blooming ok this year and the other is not. It does not seem dead. What can I do or is is in fact dying?
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Wimberley , TX
Browned foliage on Juniperus ashei in Wimberley TX
We are in Central Texas and have native "cedar" juniper trees. One with foliage that looked brown, on close inspection, is covered with white webs. The foliage looks like it is dying. No worms a...
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wimberley,, TX
Is Smooth Sumac deer resistant
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I noticed there was no deer resistant rating for smooth sumac in your plant data base. Aromatic sumac is rated as 'high'. Do you have an opinion on deer resistance for smo...
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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
Oaks at Wildflower Center from Wimberley TX
I know you have numerous Quercus fusiformis examples at the ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. My question is, do you also have Quercus virginiana growing there? Also, is Oak Wilt a disease that ...
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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
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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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
Environmentally friendly and drought resistant alternatives to St. Augustine grass
As a member of the planning committee of our property owners association in Wimberley TX, we are researching ways to make our landscape environmentally friendly and drought resistant. We have 60,000 ...
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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
Flaming sumacs in trouble in Wimberley TX
I planted three flaming sumacs last fall and all leafed out this spring. Then, early this month all the leaves turned brown on one and it appears to have died. Today I noticed that a second one is d...
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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
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
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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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
Sources for native plants in Wimberly, TX
Where can I go to find a good selection of Central Texas Native plants. I live in Wimberley and I want to fill my garden and land with native plants, shrubs and trees. I cannot find a place to purcha...
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Wimberley, TX
Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
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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
Abundance of acorns from Wimberley TX
We have lived in Wimberley since 1999 and this is the first time we have had such a huge abundance of acorns on our Oak trees, which is surprising considering the drought we have been in the last few ...
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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
Help finding and growing milkweeds for monarch butterflies
I would like to participate in your "Monarch Waystation" program. Knowing how milkweeds generally don't transplant well, and I have poor luck getting them to propagate from seeds, could you please...
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