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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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Questions From Near You

san antonio, TX
Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
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San Antonio, TX
Is Parthenocissus heptaphylla poisonous?
Hi, I have a simple question for you, but I can't seem to find the answer to it. Is Parthenocissus heptaphylla toxic the way the VA creeper is? From what I've read, they're very similar in many way...
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San Antonio, TX
Evergreen vine for wall and long-blooming shrubs in San Antonio TX
What is a good native vine that stays green all year to plant along a rock courtyard wall? Also what are native bushes that flower for the longest period of time? Thanks.
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San Antonio, TX
Propagation of Mexican buckeye from seeds in San Antonio
I recently collected seeds from a Mexican buckeye. Is it best to plant them now or wait until spring? Do they need to be scarified?
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San Antonio, TX
Culture of Indian paintbrush
I have never tried to plant the Indian Paintbrush flower before, and I'm not sure what the culture is besides what's on the LBJ Wildflower center website. Are there any tricks for getting a good sh...
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San Antonio, TX
Sap dripping from a lacey oaks in San Antonio
I have a lacey oak tree, approximately 6 ft. tall that has been in the ground almost a year. The tree looks healthy but there is a small area on the trunk that looks and feels wet. The substance is s...
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San Antonio, TX
Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas ple...
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San Antonio, TX
Replacing bermudagrass with buffalograss in San Antonio
We inherited a back yard full of weeds when we bought a fixer-upper a couple of years back in San Antonio, TX. Since we moved in, some "native" bermuda started growing in the yard. I think the "nat...
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San Antonio, TX
Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
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San Antonio, TX
How to Control Pests on Plants for Sale
I am renting a closed spot at a flea market, and am having trouble with several infestations at once, and I am not sure how to control them. I am currently having trouble with aphids, whiteflies, and ...
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San Antonio, TX
Post freeze care for Texas native grasses
Can you tell me the best post-freeze care for Tx native grasses in my garden: lindheimer muhly, gulf muhly, inland sea oats. Mexican feather grass. Do I cut them back? Burn them? Leave them alone? T...
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San Antonio, TX
Germination of bluebonnets from seed
I am having problems getting my bluebonnet (Alamo Fire and regular bluebonnets to germinate from seed). Usually I soak them in lukewarm water overnight then plant in a potting mix. I am only getting...
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San Antonio, TX
Time of year to plant Tecoma stans
I wanted to know when the best time to plant the Esperanza flower (Tecoma stans) was. The information on the website did not give planting dates or soil conditions for this plant. Can you please help?...
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San Antonio, TX
Information about pre-1920s biodiversity near San Antonio
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am transforming my .3 acre urban yard three miles north of downtown San Antonio into a native wildscape. I am planting all native plants using your website, books, and nea...
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San Antonio, TX
Non-native red-tip photinias dying in San Antonio
A 17 year old Red tip Photinia in a hedge shows signs of dying. The main stalks are quite large and offshoots from two of the stalks have brittle, drooping leaves. The center of the plant looks norm...
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San Antonio, TX
Fragrant native plants for San Antonio, TX
I live in San Antonio, Texas, and I am re-landscaping my backyard after my dog ate some of the beautiful blooming oleander and had to spend some time at the vet's. My backyard is my sanctuary, and it...
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San Antonio, TX
Replacement for non-native St. Augustine in San Antonio
I have a large oak tree on one side of my front yard. St. Augustine grass does not grow there because of the shade. What do you recommend as a replacement for the St. Augustine? I would like to send...
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San Antonio, TX
Plant identification shrub with lavender flowers
Looking for picture of flowering shrub,looks like a butterfly,two shades of lavender, don't know the name.
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San Antonio, TX
Decline of mesquite and persimmon trees in San Antonio
We have lived in a house in San Antonio for about 30 years now and in the last 5 years, we have seen the decline of several mesquite and wild persimmon trees. I am wondering what would cause their de...
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San Antonio, TX
Lifespan and pruning of cedar elm in San Antonio
How long do cedar elm trees live? How can you estimate the age of one, or tell if it is nearing the end of its normal lifespan? Do you have any recommendations for selecting someone to prune it proper...
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San Antonio, TX
Controlling nematodes on lantana from San Antonio
Can anything be done to "fix" root knot nematode on older lantana. Next to other lantana. Pull them out or try organic fix?
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