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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

Redrock, TX
Plant identification
Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but d...
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Sattler, TX
Starting desert willow from seeds
Is it better to sow or start desert willow seeds in pots? If sowing is effective, is fall or spring the best time to sow in the Canyon Lake area of Central Texas?
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New Braunfels, TX
Problems with red oak in New Braunfels TX
One of my red oaks still doesn't have all its flowers. The main bark has some dark stuff oozing out and one of the branches has a fine powdery substance on it. HELP!!!!
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New Braunfels , TX
Plant database correct!
Wrong taxonomy for bald cypress tree family in your plant database?
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New Braunfels , TX
Will wildflowers planted in late December bloom this year?
I have a home near Canyon Lake and seeded wildflowers on the property in late December. I have since read that the ideal time to seed them is before December 1st. Do they have a chance to bloom this...
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New Braunfels, TX
Do pecans and bluebonnets only bloom every other year from New Braunfels TX
Is it true that bluebonnets only seed every other year? I know we see bluebonnets every year, so this is quite a mystery to us. Also, is it the same with pecan trees?
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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
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
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
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
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
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
Cake decorations with flowers
Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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