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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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

New Braunfels, TX
Is hummingbird vine poisonous to parrots?
Is hummingbird vine poisonous to parrots? I am setting up vines and plants around the aviary and would like to use this vine if it's not poisonous.
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New Braunfels, TX
Trimming oaks and elms from New Braunfels TX
I would like to trim my live oaks and elm trees at the same time, if possible. I think they are American Elms. When is the best time to do this and avoid oak wilt and Dutch elm disease? Should all c...
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New Braunfels, TX
Butterfly and medicinal plants for New Braunfels
I am in zip code 78132 and we just put in a garden at our front steps- so my choices for plants need to fill a need for beauty and function. I want to include plants that will host and feed butterfli...
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New Braunfels, TX
Obtaining a list of Texas native plants
I'm a member of the Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (New Braunfels area) and wanted to get a list of Texas Native Plants for our Chapter to use as our guideline of what is nat...
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New Braunfels, TX
Pruning Leggy Santolina
We are members of the society and have loved your section offering advice. We have green santolina that is becoming quite leggy. I would like to prune them to get them more compact come spring and sum...
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New Braunfels, TX
Leaf problems on Arizona ash in New Braunfels, TX
I have an Arizona Ash tree that is 10 years old. The leaves have brown spots all over and then eventually the leaves curl up and fall off the tree. Is this a fungus or a bacterial infestation? What...
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New Braunfels, TX
Tx Mt. Laurel and Mex. Buckeye seed propagation in drought
I live in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Since I am only at my house in July and August, I would like to plant both Texas Mountain Laurel and Mexican Buckeye from the seeds harvested from mothe...
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New Braunfels, TX
Plant identification of vine with hard brown bulb-shaped fruit
I was given a brown hard bulb-looking ball with rough tiny dots on it and told it comes from a vine that changes to beautiful colors and these balls hang off the vine. A lady in Houston grows them a...
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New Braunfels, TX
Companion plants for non-native Santolina virens
Can you recommend companion plant options for Santolina virens? The companion plant would be planted randomly and interspersed with the santolina and needs to be no taller than 12 inches because of th...
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New Braunfels, TX
How can I distinguish Hibiscus laevis from Pavonia braziliensis in New Braunfels, TX?
How can I distinguish Hibiscus laevis (Halberdleaf Hibiscus) from Pavonia braziliensis (Brazillian Rock Rose)? Earlier this year I was given the former by a friend and former NPSOT chap...
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New Braunfels, TX
Where to find Horseherb seed
I would like to purchase some Horseherb seeds. Can you tell me where I can do that? Either locally or on line. Thank you.
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New Braunfels, TX
Deer resistant, deciduous plants for New Braunfels, TX
I have three acres of filtered sunlight/mostly shade. What deer resistant, flowering, deciduous plants are best for the New Braunfels area. I have had split leaf phyladendruns for twenty years, but th...
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New Braunfels, TX
Will my wildflower seeds reseed by themselves?
I have planted wildflowers from seed throughout the several acres of my property in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Once estalished will they reseed without any help from me? The flowers includ...
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New Braunfels, TX
Drought-Tolerant Trees for South-Central Texas
I would like to replace two Golden Rain Trees with native ornamentals. They should be highly drought tolerant and should not exceed 25 feet in height. They will need to be tough since they will get ...
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New Braunfels, TX
Source for Guayacan (Guajacum angustifolium) in Texas
Do you know where I can purchase guayacan (soapbush) or is it impossible to transplant?
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New Braunfels, TX
Moth using Agarita as its larval food in New Braunfels, TX
What moth uses agarita as its larval food? It is a perennial problem that can nearly defoliate the specimen and severely limit its flower production.
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New Braunfels, TX
Damage to Agave in New Braunfels, TX
In a flower box, I have an Agave on which the leaves have been damaged. It looks as if a deer rubbed his antlers on it. Is there any animal in south central Texas that would try to eat an agave?
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New Braunfels, TX
Stress in potted Tif blueberry plants
Recently purchased Tif Blue Blueberry plants (about 3 ft tall)are showing signs of stress. They are in 10 gallon pots. Should they be transplanted? Medium? Fertilizer? Location? Trimming?
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New Braunfels, TX
Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to...
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New Braunfels, TX
Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
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New Braunfels, TX
Driveway through a cluster of Oak trees
Construction of a cement driveway through an 8 tree cluster of escarpment oaks is going to require removal of 2 trees in the center. How can this be done without causing damage to remaining trees? Als...
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