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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Shrub or small tree for dappled shade in San Antonio
I'm looking for an attractive bush or small tree that will grow in dry, dappled shade. I'd prefer one that does not form fruit-I don't want the neighborhood skunks visiting my yard.(My dog has been...
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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
What to do with ailing live oak trees
We live in far north San Antonio, TX on a 2 acre lot with many trees.. about 25% oak and 75% cedar. About 15% of our live oak trees have not sprouted leaves yet this spring, or have only sprouted leav...
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San Antonio, TX
Locating Rudbeckia cultivar in San Antonio
Hello, I’m searching for one-gallon plants of Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa “Viette’s Little Suzy” to purchase either from a San Antonio or area nursery or through a mail order Texas Grower. Is th...
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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
Is there a red esperanza (Tecoma stans)?
There is a red esperanza that I pass by everyday on my way home from work. I have never seen this plant anywhere but this particular spot. Is there really a variety that is red or do you think it is...
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San Antonio, TX
Leaves on non-native Chinese pistashe tree yellowing in San Antonio TX
My chinese pistashe tree leaves are turning yellow. The tree is about 25 years old. the last time it did this I applied some iron granules into the ground around it. However I have forgotten how mu...
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San Antonio, TX
Are non-seeding Bermudgrass hybrids invasive?
Since Cynodon dactylon (Bermudagrass) is listed as an invasive species (texasinvasives.org), do you feel the non-seed producing Bermudagrass hybrids would also be considered invasive? Assuming a hybri...
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San Antonio, TX
Plants for shelter for butterflies
I understand that butterflies need certain plants for food, but are there specific plants that butterflies prefer to use as shelter in central Texas?
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San Antonio, TX
Ashe Juniper not doing well in San Antonio
A large ash juniper (mountain cedar) in my yard appears to be sick or dying. Approximately 1/4 of the canopy has very sparse needles/green foliage stuff and shaggier than normal bark. It's not brown ...
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San Antonio, TX
Failure to bloom of lantanas in San Antonio
Mr. Smarty Plants, We have lantanas in our front yard. This summer the leaves have turned white and they die to a brown color all the while the leaves are "crispy". At the beginning of the season...
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San Antonio, TX
Annual flowers for fall planting in San Antonio
What are some recommended annual flowers for fall planting in a small garden in San Antonio? Also any help on planting and cultivating would be appreciated.
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San Antonio, TX
Non-invasive, drought tolerant turf grass for Brownsville TX
Since Bermudagrass is considered "invasive" by many in the industry, what drought tolerant, non-invasive turf grass would you recommend for South Texas lawns? (Brownsville area)
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