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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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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
Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?
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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 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
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
Western soapberry dropping leaves in San Antonio
My Western Soapberry tree (China berry?) Suddenly started dropping full, perfectly healthy green, leaf units. Now half the tree is turning yellow. There is a second tree in the yard not far from this ...
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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
Competition for sun between non-native loquat and Carolina laurel cherry in San Antonio
I have planted 2 Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)along my north side fence. I just learned my neighbor has planted a Loquat tree on the other side of the north facing fence. He told me that...
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San Antonio, TX
Will Mountain Laurels be harmed by juglones from my pecan tree?
Hi. I just bought a house. It has a big pecan tree at the edge of the front lawn next to the street. I guess it's about 25 feet from the front of the house. I was thinking of planting mountain la...
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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
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
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
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
Need substitute plants for Red Tip Photinia in San Antonio.
Looking to replace Red Tips with major leaf spot infections. Need about third replaced. What suggestions would you have to replace these privacy hedge row type plants? Need a plant that will grow at...
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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
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
Growing Big Red Sage from Seed in San Antonio
I harvested some seed this year from my Big Red Salvia (Salvia penstemonoides). I have searched multiple sites looking for information on growing this wonderful salvia but cannot locate any informati...
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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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