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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!

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

Questions From Near You

New Braunfels, TX
Three native grasses in grass mix research
On a recent visit to the wild flower center I was informed that you had satisfactory results from the grass mix research funded by Walmart. Please let us know which 3 grasses and the percentage of e...
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New Braunfels, TX
A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
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New Braunfels, TX
Bark flaking off oaks in New Braunfels, TX
We have several large clusters of oak trees. Some of the trees are losing their bark. The bark is flaking off in fairly large pieces; even on some of the trees that are leafing out. Is this a result o...
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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
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
Native shrub for shade in New Braunfels, Texas
Recently moved to New Braunfels and purchased a house whose backyard consists of giant oaks. Unfortunately there is a chain link fence along the back of the property. I would like to plant a native f...
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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
Possible identification of Post Oak in New Braunfels, TX
I live 6 miles north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country and own 5 acres of land. The property consists of many escarpment live oaks, texas persimon, and ashe juniper. I believe I also have some Te...
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New Braunfels, TX
Differentiating between red oak, Shumard oak and American sycamore
I have a few trees growing in an arroyo and I'm pretty certain that they are either red oak, shumard red oak, or Texas sycamore. The trees are deciduous and have a scaled grey bark which becomes lig...
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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
Sources for native trees in New Braunfels TX
I live just north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country. I would like to plant the following trees this December: Anacacho Orchid Tree, American Smoke Tree, Golden Leadball Tree, and perhaps a Laceba...
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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
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
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
Looking for a vine to grow on limestone pillars.
Could you please suggest a vine which would grow on the limestone pillars at the front of our home near New Braunfels? We would like something that is attractive but does not harm our home. The pill...
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New Braunfels, TX
Wildflowers after controlled burn in New Braunfels, TX
I live in the Hill Country a few miles north of New Braunfels. As soon as we get enough rain to lift our burn ban, I will be thinning out some of my Ashe juniper and will do some burning in the open ...
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New Braunfels, TX
Cake decorations with flowers
Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
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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
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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