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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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Questions From Near You

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
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
Non-blooming Texas Mountain Laurel
Two questions: 1. My mountain laurel (10 yrs old) has never had blooms. Is this a gender plant issue? 2. I have been seeking a groundcover that grows in shade and will take foot (dog) traffic. ...
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SAN ANTONIO, TX
Native plants as accumulators of heavy metals in Texas
I would like to know of any native plants that could be used as hyperaccumulaters of heavy metals in Texas.
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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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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
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
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
Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "...
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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
Groundcover for shade in San Antonio
I have a large red oak tree in the front yard. It is keeping any sun except filtered underneath. Faces n/w and in san antonio. I need a ground cover that is drought tolerant and likes the shade and h...
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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
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
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
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
Spanish name for bluebonnet
What is the Spanish name for bluebonnet? They were in Texas before any other Europeans and must have named the flower. I cannot find it anywhere.
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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
Tidying up Copper Canyon Daisies in San Antonio
We have a small bed with 4 copper canyon daisies. We cut them back in the fall but have not pruned them during growing season; as a result they become a big tangle by September. Should they be pruned ...
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San Antonio, TX
Ground cover for shallow soil in hillside north of San Antonio
I live in the Hill Country north of San Antonio. The yard around the house has very shallow soil and is sloped. Bermuda has a hard time maintaining. Are there any other low growing ground covers that ...
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San Antonio, TX
Native grasses and wildflowers to attract butterflies in Blanco Co., TX
Could you please recommend (native, xeriscape, deer resistant) grasses and flowers that attract butterflies that can be grown in Blanco County?
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San Antonio, TX
Shade ground cover in San Antonio
I would like to find plants, spreading ground or flowers, to go under my red tips. These plants would be in a lot shade and not a great deal of water.
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