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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

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
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
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
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
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
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
How Close to Tree Trunks Should Bricks be Placed?
Do you have guidelines as to how close bricks can be placed to trees, particularly cypress, cedars and live oaks? Contractors habitually plant up to the trunk and I've had trees die from their roots...
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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
Native grasses for a lawn in Wimberley, Texas
Is there a lawn grass that will go dormant with no water at all and come back? ..in Wimberley? our native grass didn't survive the drought.
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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
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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Failure of Rock roses to bloom in Wimberly
How do we get our rock roses to bloom. Our bushy plant has grown well but for the last two years seed pods form directly without noticeable blooms
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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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