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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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Questions From Near You

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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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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Canyon Lake, TX
Possibility of growing oak-leaf hydrangea in Comal County, TX
In the last issue of the magazine, there was an item about the oak leaf hydrangea which stated the plant's habitat is east of the Mississippi River. Can it be grown in Comal County? Any special nee...
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Canyon Lake, TX
Mealy blue sage drooping from Canyon Lake TX
Mealy Blue Sage @ 4 ft Tall - Planted three Mealy Blue Sage last year and they topped out at 2 ft tall. This year they are 4 ft tall in early May, and many of the stems are growing near horizontal...
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Canyon Lake, TX
Privacy screen for Canyon Lake, TX
I need some help. I live near the Guadalupe River in Canyon Lake, TX and my backyard faces a busy street. I need a fast growing thick shrub for my backyard for privacy since I cannot afford a fence at...
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Canyon Lake, TX
Fast growing shade tree for Canyon Lake, TX
What is the best, fastest growing shade tree to plant in a residential yard about 1/2 block from the Guadelupe River in Sattler, Texas?
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Canyon Lake, TX
Seed collection from rain lilies
Hello, I have some rain lilies growing in our yard. I've collected some seed heads, but am not sure what steps to take now. They were all off of broken stems (the dogs are not as cautious as I am...
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Canyon Lake, TX
Care of non-native Buddha Belly bamboos
I have several budha belly bamboos. They froze down last winter. I have got them back to 5 ft. I need them around 8-10 for privacy. Any suggestions? Also how to I protect them this winter?
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Canyon lake, TX
Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel
How do I get rid of lopidea on mountain laurel?
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Canyon Lake, TX
Nativity of Myrospermum sousanum
I bought a Myrospermum sousanum (Arroyo Sweetwood) at the Antique Rose Emporium in San Antonio. I see where it is listed as a Texas native on several web sites, but I could not find a reference on the...
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Canyon Lake, TX
Transplanting birdwing passionflower in Canyon, TX
First, thank you for all your help! Second, I have two bird-wing passionflowers that are growing next to the house. I'd like to move them because this is the area where I want to put in some raise...
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Canyon lake, TX
Butterfly/hummingbird garden plants for Hill Country, TX
What drought resistant plants would you recommend for a Hill Country butterfly/hummingbird garden that receives at least a half day of sun? It has afternoon exposure.
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Canyon Lake, TX
Sudden death of one side of Mountain Laurel from Canyon Lake TX
Hello! We live in Canyon Lake TX and have a Mountain Laurel that is in distress. It is planted in an irrigated flower bed and has been happily growing for 5 years. It is about 5' tall and has sever...
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Canyon Lake, TX
Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
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Canyon Lake, TX
BEST plants for keeping water clean
We're in the process of building a small swimming pool that will utilize Texas native bog and marginal plants to clean the water for the pool. Do you know of some good resources (i.e. online, books, b...
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Fischer , TX
Texas Madrone as endangered plant?
Is the Texas Madrone on the endangered list?
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Wimberley, TX
Environmentally friendly and drought resistant alternatives to St. Augustine grass
As a member of the planning committee of our property owners association in Wimberley TX, we are researching ways to make our landscape environmentally friendly and drought resistant. We have 60,000 ...
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Wimberley, TX
Hybridized Indigo Spires having problems in Wimberley, TX
I planted 7 Indigo Spires from one gallon containers in May and now each plant is about 18" tall. 4 of the 7 fell over about 2 weeks are. The plants still look healthy with no dropped or curled leav...
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Wimberley, TX
Cutting back Pampas grass.
When and how much should I cut back Pampas grass in the Hill Country of Texas.
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Wimberley, TX
Native grasses for a lawn in Wimberley, Texas
Is there a lawn grass that will go dormant with no water at all and come back? ..in Wimberley? our native grass didn't survive the drought.
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Wimberley, TX
Poverty Weed in Wimberley, Texas
I have seen differing reports about the native plant, Baccharis neglecta or Poverty Weed. Some reports say it is invasive and others consider it an acceptable native plant. I have quite a few Povert...
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