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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 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 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
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
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
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
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
Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?
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San Antonio, TX
Problems with Shumard oak in San Antonio
Hello. I live in San Antonio and Have a question about a Shumard Red Oak. It's growing at an average pace, seems a little more vigorous this year. It's a nice tree with great fall colors. HOWEVER, w...
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San Antonio, TX
Cold damage to Texas wild olive tree in San Antonio
I have a Texas Olive tree that was unprotected from the 2010 cold winter here in San Antonio, TX. It is the end of April and there is no sign of growth on any of the branches. If the tree is still a...
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San Antonio, TX
Controlling Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle)
Hello,I need your help to control some nasty weeds in my yard/pasture. I am an old timer and do not have a picture to include—haven't figured out that part of the camera/phone yet. This weed is a pri...
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San Antonio, TX
Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
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San Antonio, TX
Source for Brasil tree, Condalia hookeri
I have been searching for this tree everywhere, but cannot locate a dealer/retailer/nursey that sells this tree. Its name is Brasil tree (Condalia hookeri) and it is native to the southern US, ...
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San Antonio, TX
Are American sycamore or hybrid poplar trees toxic to dogs in San Antonio?
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San Antonio, TX
Groundcover for shade under oaks in San Antonio
I have been modifying my landscape to reduce grass and the need for frequent watering. Have turned half the backyard into native plants garden with hardscape and sitting areas. Have 2 mature Monterey ...
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San Antonio, TX
Water Gardening
I took the landscaping class several years ago, and now would like to put in a section of aquatic plants. Starting small, I was initially looking for a ceramic bowl-type container, and I need to know...
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San Antonio, TX
Native grasses and wildflowers to attract butterflies in Blanco Co., TX
Could you please recommend (native, xeriscape, deer resistant) grasses and flowers that attract butterflies that can be grown in Blanco County?
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San Antonio, TX
Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
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San Antonio, TX
Dry browning leaves on Monterrey Oak from San Antonio
I have a Monterey Oak that was planted four years ago and was doing great until the last two weeks. It has turned brown and the ends of the branches are very dry and brittle. The root flare was cov...
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