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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
Texas natives that attract butterflies but not deer
I'd like to have some plants in my garden that are butterfly attractors, but that whitetail deer won't like. I can find lists of butterfly plants, and lists of deer-resistant plants -- is there a li...
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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
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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San Antonio, TX
Eliminating wood roaches from hardwood mulch from San Antonio TX
How can I eliminate the numerous wood roaches in my hardwood mulch that I get for free from the city of San Antonio?
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San Antonio, TX
Mountain Laurel slowly dying in San Antonio, TX
My Texas Mountain Laurel seems to be dying in a slow unusual manner. Over the past two weeks the leaves have been turning yellow and falling off starting with the south facing side of my multi-tru...
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San Antonio, TX
Will recycled tire mulch harm butterfly larvae?
I discovered orange butterfly larva in the hardwood mulch under my Turk's Cap. Will it harm the larva if I switch over to recycled tire mulch?
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San Antonio, TX
Non-branching mimosa tree
I have a Mimosa Tree, just about 2 years old, grown from seed. The problem with it is that it has not branched out, it looks like one long branch growing out of the ground, about 5 feet if stood strai...
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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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San Antonio, TX
Are seeds of Tecoma stans (yellow bells) toxic to birds
We have several Tacoma Stans in our yard and several pets (dogs & a Cockatoo). My Too is very interested in the beans of this plant. Are the beans poisonous to birds? Dogs?
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San Antonio, TX
Identity of milkweed vine with smooth seedpod
I believe the vine I am curious about may be Matelea reticulata. However, most of the pictures I have seen of that vine show bumps on the exterior of the seed pod, and the pod I have is green and smo...
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San Antonio, TX
Source for non-native, invasive Chocolate Mimosa
Hi, I was wondering if you know where I can get seeds for a Chocolate Mimosa Tree? I saw one and I fell in love with the colors but I can not find any seeds or a tree.
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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
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
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
Chisos Rosewood Propagation
Can you tell me how to propagate seed for the Chisos Rosewood Tree?
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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
Protecting agave pups in San Antonio
I would like to share the soon to happen bloom of two century plants on my property; they are sisters planted at the same time. I am sad to know they will die but will do all that I can to protect the...
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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
Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
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