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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.

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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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Questions From Near You

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 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
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
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
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
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
Suitability of Monterrey oaks for small space in San Antonio
I am purchasing a home and the existing owners have planted three Monterrey oaks in the back. It is a small yard and the trees are no more than 15 feet from the house.The trees back up to a fence that...
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San Antonio, TX
Yaupons dying back in San Antonio
I have 4 yaupon shrubs in the same area for several years. This past winter one turned brown from inside to outside very quickly. It is dead but the roots are not loose. The others began doing the sam...
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San Antonio, TX
Planting distance for non-native crepe myrtles in San Antonio
I just purchased 7 katawba crepe myrtles and would like to know how far apart I need to space them. I am placing down on the right side of my front yard. They are in 5 gallon containers and about 5 - ...
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San Antonio, TX
Trimming dead blooms from turkscap in San Antonio
Great answer to the Turk's Plant question. But, I can't seem to find an answer to mine. I've had Turk's plants for years and cut them back as you suggest, but have always been confused about wha...
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San Antonio, TX
What is Carolina Jessamine in San Antonio?
Okay, so if Gelsemium sempervirens is the one photographed by Joe Marcus in the "Explore Plants" section, then what is the actual name of the plant that is in every other yard in San Antonio, widely...
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San Antonio, TX
Transplanting adventitious shoots of a mountain laurel in San Antonio
Is it possible to transplant branches (shoots) growing from a mountain laurel that was chopped down? Some are two years old and several feet tall (but not yet blooming) and some as small as a foot. ...
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San Antonio, TX
Are American sycamore or hybrid poplar trees toxic to dogs in San Antonio?
We anticipate planting an American Sycamore or a Hybrid Poplar tree in our back yard but we have several small dogs and are concerned that they may eat some of the leaves. Do either of these trees po...
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San antonio, TX
Why are my Junipers turning brown in San Antonio?
My Texas mountain cedars (junipers, I know) are turning brown, limb by limb. What is the problem and how do I save what looks like a dying tree.
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San Antonio, TX
Non-native lavender for Texas in San Antonio
I am looking for a lavender (English?) that will tolerate Tx summers, is evergreen, will tolerate some shade. I want to border a sidewalk with it. All help appreciated.
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San Antonio, TX
What is the scoop on dwarf cedar elms?
Several years ago, I purchased a small plant from a San Antonio wholesaler that was identified as a "Dwarf Cedar Elm." My brother had also purchased a few from there. No one there knows anything a...
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san antonio, TX
Looking for a supplier of Commelina erecta.
I'm looking for a nursery that sells Commelina erecta?
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San Antonio, TX
Looking for a supplier of Limoncillo.
Hello, I'm looking for a plant called limoncillo. Do you know of a seller where this can be purchased. Thanks.
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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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