En Español
Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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.

Support NPINHelp grow the Native Plant Information Network by giving to the Plant Database Fund or subcribing to Wildflower magazine.

Subscribe online now
Mr. Smarty Plants would give Wildflower magazine two thumbs up...if he had two thumbs.
Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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

Gatlinburg , TX
Use of pictures from our Image Gallery
I would like to use the picture of prickly wild rose on a website I am designing for information on native plants. I am designing this site for children and teachers. Who do I contact?
view the full question and answer

Natural bridge Caverns, TX
Caterpillars on young bluebonnet plants in Comal Co., TX
Due to much needed recent rains our bluebonnets are coming on beautifully. Today however when looking at what I thought was frost damage noticed caterpillars that start eating from the center and work...
view the full question and answer

Bergheim, TX
Plant barrier along fence in South Central Texas
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I want to put in an attractive, diverse but tough plant barrier to help stop my dogs from running the fence with neighboring dogs. The 5-foot, open-wire fence is far from the...
view the full question and answer

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Taking down a Century Plant blooming stalk from Fair Oaks Branch TX
Our century cactus looks like it's in the final stages of blooming and I read on your site that the original plant dies. Can we go ahead and cut down the tall blooms?
view the full question and answer

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Possible freeze damage to Texas Persimmon in Fair Oaks Ranch TX
I have a Texas Persimmon tree that is in a green belt. It has leafed out and flowered for the eight years we have lived here. This year it leafed out then the leaves turned brown and dropped. The top ...
view the full question and answer

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Propagation of Texas grapes
What is the best way to propagate wild Texas grapes?
view the full question and answer

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Pruning of non-native abelias in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
I have some old established Abelias that are leggy at the bottom. Can I cut them back, and if so, how far and best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

Garden Ridge, TX
plant labels to indicate resistance to wildfire
I have a group of students researching plants that are more fire resistant. They have learned that keeping home landscaping around a structure will help reduce the risk of a structure catching fire i...
view the full question and answer

Garden Ridge, TX
Need a privacy screen of native plants for swimming pool in Garden Ridge, TX
We are building a pool and would like to use native plants as a screen around the fence, preferably a shrub that grows quickly to about 6 feet. Any suggestions? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Garden Ridge, TX
Screening bush for shady area
I need some kind of bush that will act as an air conditioning blind. So far the deer have eaten or destroyed everything planted in the very shady mulch bed. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Garden Ridge, TX
Plant identification
Comal County, Texas. Trying to identify a plant found growing in Comal Co. It was growing along the ground, with long, spiky leaves, and a ball of green flowers with a dark purple/brown 5 pointed sta...
view the full question and answer

Garden Ridge, TX
Student research on fire-resistance plant labels from Garden Ridge TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm a 4th grader at Garden Ridge Elementary in Comal County. I am researching fire resistant plants. Can you please tell me if most plants' tags say whether they are fire r...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Copper Canyon daisy leaves turning yellow in Spring Branch TX
My Copper Canyon daisies have grown well this year but the leaves are turning yellow. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Looking for evergreen deer proof plants for full sun
Which plants would be DEER PROOF, will be with almost full sun and will not die completely during winter? besides some plastic ones =) It doesn't matter the size, flowers or not.
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Smarty Plants on mulch and organic material
I live near Canyon Lake, just north of San Antonio in a new subdivision. I call on you for advice, as I have attended several classes there and hope you can help. Several areas on our property and nei...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Deer-resistant trees for privacy in Texas
I need to find a deer resistant tall shrub or tree to plant and hide the deer fence my neighbor just put up on our property line. My property has full sun in parts and mostly shady in other parts and ...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Viability of Desert Willow and Hong Kong Orchid Tree in Spring Branch, TX
We live in Spring Branch, Rt 281 north of San Antonio. We want to plant a Regal Desert Willow tree and a Hong Kong Orchid tree. Will the cold / freeze be a problem? Where locally can we purchase th...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Identification of red-topped grass blooming in Comal County
I live in Comal County and right now (mid May) there is a beautiful, red topped grass growing along the side of country roads. It is maybe 1 foot tall, and waves in the breeze. Do you know what kind o...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Planting instructions for horsetail
Re: Equisetum hyemale L. Canuela, Horsetail, Scouring rush, Scouringrush horsetail I bought a 1-gal Equisetum hyemale for my seep/pond. In searching the web, I find conflicting planting instructions...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Should Bluebonnets Be Planted in Mulch in Spring Branch, TX
I would like to plant bluebonnet seeds in my flower bed. The bed has a layer of shredded cedar mulch. Do I need to remove the mulch where the seeds will be planted, or will the plants grow up through ...
view the full question and answer

Spring Branch, TX
Smarty Plants on Virginia crownbeard
I recently moved to the Hill Country and notice some "weeds" that seemed to into explode into ice formations when the temperature first fell below freezing. Can you tell me the name of this plant an...
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center