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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!

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Questions From Near You

Henly, TX
Plants for cleared area by creek
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. My front "yard" is about 2 1/2 sloping acres with a wet weather creek at the bottom. It has been recently cleared of cedar. The cedar is now shredded and acts as a cover to he...
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Henly, TX
Native grasses that are shade tolerant for Central Texas
I recently purchased acreage in Henly (Dripping Springs area). The property has a large stand of big Live Oaks, Black Jack Oaks and Cedar Elm trees. The area has not been grazed for several years an...
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Henly, TX
Propagating Dakota vervain (Glandularia binpinnatifida)
Dakota Vervain. We recently moved into a new house in Henly--Hays/Blanco county line. Mother nature was kind enough to provide us w/Dakota Vervain in some of our planting beds while we are getting...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Does Possumhaw need full sun for a bountiful crop of berries?
I planted a possumhaw last year in a sunny location, however as the season changed the plant became shaded by a large Ashe juniper all through the winter. No berries this winter, but it is a young pla...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Bluebonnets Emerging in December
Bluebonnets Emerging in December. We've seen bluebonnets emerging all over our property in the last two weeks. I don't ever remember seeing them come up this early. What will be the impact on t...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Failure of TX bluebonnets to thrive
We have had extraordinary luck with bluebonnets growing in our driveway of decomposed granite--until last year and this year. The bluebonnets seem to be drying up and wilting away. The ones in other a...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Controlling KR Bluestem
How can I control KR Bluestem in my 55 acre coastal bermuda hayfield? The field has a Farm Road along one side planted in KR, and now the hayfield is about 25 - 30% KR. Summer burn is fairly dangerous...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Jasminum polyanthum Deer Resistant and Native?
Are Jasminum polyanthum deer resistant? They are selling these plants at Trader Joe's right now so I'm assuming it's native to our area. But the instructions don't say anything about deer.
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Dripping Springs, TX
Apache Pine for Dripping Springs, TX.
Is the Apache Pine tree a good choice for planting in alkaline soil with excellent drainage?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if the...
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Dripping Springs., TX
Why is cedar pollen so heavy this year?
Dear Mr Smarty, Is this year a heavier than normal year for cedar pollen?? If so why?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Live Oak Suckers Reprise, Austin TX
Referring to an entry dated March 11, 2011 about Live Oak suckers - what happened to the suckers covered with newspaper and cardboard?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Bluebonnets emerging early after cool, wet spring
Typically I see bluebonnet seedlings begin to erupt in the early Fall. But this year, I began to see seedlings almost immediately after my crop went to seed. In fact, it is now early August and I ha...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Germination of golden dalea seeds
I have collected some golden dalea seeds. I live west of Austin in caliche soil. How would one germinate these seeds? What time of year should I plant them? What kind of seed treatment? Should I scari...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Landscape designers for Texas Hill Country
I need to locate a landscape designer for a Texas Hill Country property. Can you help?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Non-native Meyer lemon problems in Dripping Springs, TX.
I have a Meyer lemon that looks very sick. The leaves, limbs, and fruit all have brownish gold raised spots that are the size of a pin head. The spots on the leaves seem to run along the center of t...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Information on non-native, invasive pampas grass
Our neighborhood is doing a community landscaping project and pampas grass has been suggested. Is there a good article related to invasives that specifically mention pampas grass?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Native nightshade that is a host to hornworm-hawk's eye moth
Is there a native nightshade that serves as a host to tomato hornworm/hawks eye moth? I like the moth and as a gardener do not like the hornworm. I would like to have a patch of not terribly toxic nig...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Pruning Agarita in the Winter
I recently came upon a small grouping of agarita plants that had been somewhat choked by cedar. Having removed the cedar I noticed there were quite a lot of dead branches within the shrubs. Would Fe...
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Dripping Springs, TX
Brown leaves on Burr Oak from Dripping Springs TX
We have recently planted a 15 gal. burr oak in an correct hole with great soil and plenty of watering in. We have noticed some brown leaves. Should we be worried?
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Dripping Springs, TX
Spots on persimmon tree leaves from Dripping Springs TX
We are in rural Hays County Texas off Hamilton Pool Rd Texas. Large persimmon trees are turning yellow, blackish spots on underside of leaves. What do we do?
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