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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
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
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
Native Fruits for Texas Hill Country
Can you recommend a species of blackberry for San Antonio or any other fruit that will be compatible in my garden? (mostly Hill Country Native, thanks to Ladybird). The local store has raspberries, bu...
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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
Looking for a seedless variety of Desert Willow in San Antonio.
Is there a seedless (podless)variety of the Desert Willow tree that also has the dark burgundy color? If so, do you know who sells it in the central Texas area?
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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
Should grape vines be covered in winter from San Antonio
Do I need to cover grape vines in winter?
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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
Rock under space for Bigtooth Maple in San Antonio
I just got a 10 gallon Bigtooth Maple in Medina TX for my home outside loop 1604 in San Antonio. I hit rock about 7 inches in when trying to plant it..I am entertaining the idea for a raised bed to le...
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San Antonio, TX
Setaria scheelei grass for San Antonio
It seems that ornamental grasses for dry shady places are few and far between. Southwestern Bristlegrass (Setaria scheelei) is exactly what I'm looking for and would solve all my problems! Only I c...
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SAN ANTONIO, TX
Source for non-native Bauhinia Blakeana
I BOUGHT WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A HONG KONG ORCHID TREE ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO IN SAN ANTONIO, TX,.BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE A WHITE ORCHID TREE.I AM SEEKING A NURSERY IN THE AREA THAT MAY HAVE SOME IN STOCK.TH...
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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
Frost damage to non-native Mexican Maradol papaya from San Antonio
I planted Mexican Maradol papaya in my San Antonio garden last year. The plants grew about 5' tall and were starting to flower. Then the winter freezes blasted them; now there's nothing left but stu...
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San Antonio, TX
Growth in oak tree in San Antonio
We have a very large gorgeous oak tree in our backyard here in San Antonio, Texas. I noticed a thickness high up in the tree. Thinking it was a nest of some sort, I used binoculars and saw a parasiti...
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San Antonio, TX
Removal of Carolina Jasmine in San Antonio
We are attempting to permanently remove large old-growth Carolina Yellow Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens bushes from our property. The bushes are cut down. Any suggestions for stump/root removal (mec...
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San Antonio, TX
Chisos Rosewood Propagation
Can you tell me how to propagate seed for the Chisos Rosewood Tree?
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San Antonio, TX
How to get rid of nut grass from San Antonio
We just had a house built on a lot that was mostly rock. The small back yard has a berm on which they brought in soil then mulched it. Now we are getting all sorts of weeds through the mulch, what my...
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San Antonio, TX
Reply on Carolina Jasmine from San Antonio
Thank you for your prompt reply to my question from San Antonio about removal of Carolina Jasmine. Just one note. In the "rate this answer" section my cursor dropped. I meant to give you four stars....
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San Antonio, TX
Shrub to screen backyard and block noise
I'm trying to find a shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the 60ft of my back fence that would get between 8 and 10 ft tall. I would like something that att...
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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
Searching for an Escarpment Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) for sale
I am trying to find an Escarpment Black Cherry Tree for planting in my yard. Do you know of anyone that carries this particular type of tree?
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