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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

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
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
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
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
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
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
Non-branching mimosa tree
I have a Mimosa Tree, just about 2 years old, grown from seed. The problem with it is that it has not branched out, it looks like one long branch growing out of the ground, about 5 feet if stood strai...
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San Antonio, TX
Locating wildflowers for school project in March
I have been assigned a school project to collect 10 wildflowers by March. I don't see any around to collect this time of year. Do you know where I could find some? I live in San Antonio.
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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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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
Pruning tips for Texas Mountain Laurel.
Towards the end of May, I planted some Mountain Laurel seeds in pots. They are about six inches high now and starting to branch out. Do I need to trim off the leaves on the main stem below the branche...
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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
Time to transplant shade tree seedlings from San Antonio
What month do you transplant shade tree seedlings in San Antonio, TX<
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San Antonio, TX
Are seeds of Tecoma stans (yellow bells) toxic to birds
We have several Tacoma Stans in our yard and several pets (dogs & a Cockatoo). My Too is very interested in the beans of this plant. Are the beans poisonous to birds? Dogs?
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San Antonio, TX
Deer resistant vegetables
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Are there any vegetables that are deer resistant? Squash, Watermelon, Corn, Chilies?
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San Antonio, TX
Plant identification
I have a plant in my yard about 3' high, narrow pointy smooth leaves covered with small berries that are turning purple. What is this? a weed? should I eliminate it from my xeriscape garden or wel...
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San Antonio, TX
Eliminating wood roaches from hardwood mulch from San Antonio TX
How can I eliminate the numerous wood roaches in my hardwood mulch that I get for free from the city of San Antonio?
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San Antonio, TX
Problems with red tip photinia in San Antonio
I have a red tip photinia that's about 20 years old and about 20 feet high--it is big! I noticed last summer the highest leaves looked droopy all the time even with deep watering and now that portion...
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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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