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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

Helotes, TX
Possible wilt disease in mountain laurels
Three of about 24 of my mature mountain laurels died suddenly, the leaves turned brown almost overnight, scratching the bark revealed no green tissue, the small branches practically cracked when bent,...
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Helotes, TX
Shearing Pink Skullcaps
My pink skullcap plants keep dying. The ones that are still alive are about 3 years old, but have large sections of dry twigs. Do I shear them and hope they come back or are they gone? I live in Helot...
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Helotes, TX
Fall Wildflowers for Helotes, TX
Dear Smarty, Could you please suggest a few colorful wildflowers for a sunny area. I live north of San Antonio, TX and would like to plant some flowers in October but I want something that has been ...
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Helotes, TX
Something to grow under a chinaberry tree
I have a huge Chinaberry on the west side of the house. We enjoy the shade it provides and have it limbed up pretty high, but it's located between two 2-story houses and of course drops buckets of it...
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Helotes, TX
Erosion for check dam in San Antonio
What are the best trees for a shallow soil wind break in San Antonio? I am building a check dam (maybe 2' deep by 20' wide tall) over a shallow limestone gully to slow the erosion. the gully drai...
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Helotes, TX
Best time to trim oak trees to avoid oak wilt
When is the best time to trim oak trees? Concerned regarding oak wilt if cut at wrong time. Ball moss is not harmful but will it help or harm if trees trimmed. These are large oak trees. Thank you.
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Possible freeze damage to Texas Persimmon in Fair Oaks Ranch TX
I have a Texas Persimmon tree that is in a green belt. It has leafed out and flowered for the eight years we have lived here. This year it leafed out then the leaves turned brown and dropped. The top ...
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Taking down a Century Plant blooming stalk from Fair Oaks Branch TX
Our century cactus looks like it's in the final stages of blooming and I read on your site that the original plant dies. Can we go ahead and cut down the tall blooms?
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Pruning of non-native abelias in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
I have some old established Abelias that are leggy at the bottom. Can I cut them back, and if so, how far and best time to do so?
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Gatlinburg , TX
Use of pictures from our Image Gallery
I would like to use the picture of prickly wild rose on a website I am designing for information on native plants. I am designing this site for children and teachers. Who do I contact?
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Rio Medina, TX
Forum for reporting rare plants
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I was wondering if there is a forum for Texans to submit sightings of native plants they find? I live in Medina County and 2 years ago had a rare native plant growing in my yard ...
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Rio Medina, TX
Managing non-native invasive creeping yellow cress in Rio Medina TX
Due to my lawn mower dying and waiting for the shop to fix it my yard got a bit overgrown. I was walking around the yard looking at the blooming wildflowers and have discovered that one of them is Ror...
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San Antonio, TX
Planting distance for non-native crepe myrtles in San Antonio
I just purchased 7 katawba crepe myrtles and would like to know how far apart I need to space them. I am placing down on the right side of my front yard. They are in 5 gallon containers and about 5 - ...
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SAN ANTONIO, TX
Why are my Spanish Oaks dropping branches that appear to be alive?
We have two large Spanish Oaks that we planted ourselves. They both have begun to loose large branches that aren't dead. These branches just break off and fall. There is usually a wind, but not to th...
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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
Dodder
I have seen patches of Bluebonnets that are covered with a stringy,rubbery,orange substance that seems to be choking out the particular patch. It wraps itself around the flowers,completely covering th...
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San Antonio, TX
Prediction on 2007 wildflower blooming chances
Do you have a prediction on the wildflower season this year? Last year was very poor compared to other years and my sister from Georgia is wanting to visit this spring to go on wildflower expeditions...
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San Antonio, TX
Evergreen for privacy screen in San Antonio
I am looking to plant native fast-growing evergreens that will provide privacy (growing taller than our fence). We live in San Antonio and the Red Tip Photinia seems to be everywhere! I heard that t...
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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
Plant Identification
We have a new vine growing on our fence. It eventually gets red balls (about 1" in dia) that are filled with small white seeds. Before the balls turn red, they are covered with a fine, thin fern (f...
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San Antonio, TX
Source for Brasil tree, Condalia hookeri
I have been searching for this tree everywhere, but cannot locate a dealer/retailer/nursey that sells this tree. Its name is Brasil tree (Condalia hookeri) and it is native to the southern US, ...
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