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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Is the fruit on Texas olive (Cordia boissieri) edible?
I planted Cordia boissieri (Texas olive) in my garden and its thriving. Now I'm getting fruit from the tree; they are grape-sized waxy and soft. Is this fruit edible (by humans)? Should it be ...
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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
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
Problem with mesquite tree limbs
i keep finding some smaller branches of my mesquite tree in the turf area around the tree. when looking at the cut ends, they appear to have a smooth cut around the circumference of the limb about 1/...
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San Antonio, TX
Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
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San Antonio, TX
Reseed Buffalograss in Early Spring in San Antonio
When is best time to put down Buffalo grass seed in 78260 area. How much dirt should I put over existing sodded buffalo grass, which is now sparse?
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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
Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being d...
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San Antonio, TX
Seeds for Commelina erecta from San Antonio
Where can I buy Commelina erecta seeds?
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San Antonio, TX
Information about glucose concentration in plants for Science Fair project
I am a high school student enrolling in science fair. MY topic is as follows, "Can a plant be removed from the sun and put in dark and still survive if I directly inject glucose into the stem/roots (...
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San Antonio, TX
Non-native Japanese maple in San Antonio
I want to plant a Shaina Japanese maple in San Antonio, how do I plant it? I want to plant it near the house near the front door. The tree will be blocked by the house so it does not get too much af...
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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
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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