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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Questions From Near You

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
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
Cake decorations with flowers
Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Year-round ground cover for sun/shade
Looking for a native ground cover for shade and middle afternoon/evening sun. Would like it to cover all year. I planted aguga and it froze. I have two large beds (I used about 70 4in plants for ea...
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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
Will the native turf grass be a habitat for chiggers?
"Researchers create perfect Texas lawn"—Article. No mention was made of insect issues with this new type of lawn installation. Will 'chiggers/red bugs' still be an issue?
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New Braunfels, TX
Fast-growing shade tree for New Braunfels, Texas
I would like to plant a tree in the back of my property which is located in the Hill Country just north of New Braunfels. Could you please suggest something that is fast growing and will grow in full...
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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
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
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
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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