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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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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
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
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
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
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
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
Forage plants for deer in Central Texas
Looking for best forage plants and seed for deer forage, Canyon Lake-New Braunfels, Tx. Have searched listings, but areas are NE or other and not relevant to my location. Your time much appreciated. ...
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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
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
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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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
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
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
Native shrubs to plant after Ashe Juniper removal
I live on 7 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country land just north of New Braunfels. Live oak, Cedar elm, and Ashe juniper dominate the landscape. I have cleared some of the Ashe juniper and would li...
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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
Should I use wound paint when pruning my live oak tree?
When trimming live oak branches, is it best to coat the wound on the tree? I have been doing this but have recently heard that it can actually be bad for the tree.
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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
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
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
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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