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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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China Grove, TX
How to prune wild mustang grape vines.
Now that my mustang grapes are harvested. When can I trim them out of the tree top and redirect them to an arbor where I can reach them next year? The main vine is at least 3" across. The vines from...
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Adkins, TX
Transplanting and germination of Pride of Barbados in Adkins, TX
What is the root system like of the Pride of Barbados? I have a lot of new plants coming up in my beds from seeds. Can these be transplanted to a new location easily without damaging the plants? If...
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San Antono, TX
Tree for on top of sewer lines from San Antonio
I am looking for an evergreen small tree with taproot to plant in a very small front yard near the sidewalk and possibly on top of or nearly on top of sewer lines. Would a Mt. Laurel be the choice? ...
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San Antonio, TX
Tree to plant on rocky soil in San Antonio
I want to plant a tree in a particular spot in the yard but after digging down 10 inches I hit solid rock. I filled the hole with water and it took hours for it to go down. It is one of the higher e...
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San Antonio, TX
Transplant shock in Mountain Laurel in San Antonio, TX
I planted a 2 ft. tall Texas mountain laurel a month ago. Some of the leaves have turned very yellow and some of them are falling off. The plant doesn't look real healthy in general. I did add s...
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San Antonio , TX
Distance of oak tree to existing driveway in San Antonio
How close can I plant a live oak tree (15 gal) next to an existing driveway. I have about 3 feet space to plant between a fence and a driveway. This is the best spot to provide future shade. My concer...
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San Antonio , TX
Something eating leaves of Eastern Redbud in San Antonio
I know you had this question a few years back but no answer. Something is eating the leaves of my Redbud (Eastern, I think. There are varying sizes of bites, but most leaves stripped, some to stem. Pl...
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San Antonio , TX
Want to Grow Herbs in Pots on Balcony
Nov. 20, 2011 I live in a large apartment with a front balcony. I was wondering what would grow well in pots and fresh herb this time of the year? And will lavendar work for a hanging plant as well...
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San Antonio, TX
Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?
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San Antonio , TX
Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
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San Antonio, TX
Protecting agave pups in San Antonio
I would like to share the soon to happen bloom of two century plants on my property; they are sisters planted at the same time. I am sad to know they will die but will do all that I can to protect the...
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San Antonio, TX
Transplanting a grapevine in San Antonio
I planted a small grapevine that is growing well. I want to move it, (only tiny green grapes now, should be merlot) and wondering if I can do it now, mid May, or do I have to wait until fall? Not real...
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San Antonio, TX
Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
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San Antonio, TX
What are the best deep shade plants for San Antonio?
What are the best deep shade plants for San Antonio?
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San Antonio, TX
Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
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San Antonio, TX
Need shrubs to replace Mountain Laurel beside above ground pool in San Antonio, TX.
We are getting rid of a Mountain Laurel because it is 5 ft. away from my above ground pool I want to plant at the base of the pool about 20 inches away some nice evergreen. Do you have any suggestio...
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San Antonio, TX
Is the fruit on Texas olive (Cordia boissieri) edible?
I planted Cordia boissieri (Texas olive) in my garden and its thriving. Now I'm getting fruit from the tree; they are grape-sized waxy and soft. Is this fruit edible (by humans)? Should it be ...
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San Antonio, TX
Plants for winter color in native wildflower meadow backyard
I am establishing a wildflower meadow in my backyard (150'x50'). it will have native Texas wildflowers, Buffalo Grass and Blue Gramma grass. Is there any plant that you can recommend for winter inte...
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San Antonio, TX
Further information on Melochia tomentosa in San Antonio
Information in your database is limited for Melochia tomentosa. I would appreciate any further information you can provide such as requirements for sunlight, soils, water,etc.
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San Antonio, TX
Identification of vine in California
Recently a volunteer vine appeared along a fence line in my yard. It has grown rapidly, has small, vaguely heart-shaped leaves, tendrils to climb with and tiny yellow flowers. As the flower fades a fr...
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San Antonio, TX
Use of cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) for tea
Back in the 50's when I spent the summers with my grandmother south of Hondo, Texas, she use to pick leaves from the cenizo (purple sage) bushes, dry them and then brew them for tea. I asked one of m...
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