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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

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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Castroville, TX
Native grass lawn for San Antonio
Dear Mr Smartyplants, I live outside of San Antonio and my question is in regards to putting in a native grass lawn. What type of soil should I put down? I've sprayed herbicide and was planning on ...
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Castroville, TX
When is it safe to mow wildflowers in Castroville, TX?
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My yard in Castroville, TX sprouted many wildflowers early in April. By now the Blue Bonnets are seeded and gone. However, I still have a lot of Mexican Blankets. My husba...
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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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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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Devine, TX
Forestiera pubescens blooming in July
I have a lot of what appears to be Forestiera pubescens. They are covered with the dark blue/black berries and flowers. Apparently they are blooming again in the middle of July. I live about 35 mile...
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Hondo, TX
How common is white blooming Mountain Laurel
Is white blooming Mountain Laurel common?
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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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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
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
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
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
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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San Antonio, TX
Ground cover for a slope in San Antonio TX
Slope growing, no or little irrigation ground cover. The slope is probably greater than 30%. The area is currently a construction road at the base, cut into the hill. To re-establish with a ground cov...
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San Antonio, TX
Replacing yellow bells with hibiscus from San Antonio
Help! Will the roots of the yellow bells keep sprouting if I've removed the shrub? I'm replacing it with a hibiscus shrub. Will it do well in the same spot where the yellow bells were?
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San Antonio, TX
Information on native plants in Canyon State Natural Area
I am the Cubmaster for a Cub Scout Pack here in San Antonio. I am planning summertime activities for the kids this summer. One thing I have decided to do it take them on a hike in the new Government C...
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San Antonio, TX
Problems with non-native plumbago in San Antonio
Plumbago problem. Live in San Antonio. Planted about 7 of these last spring, all from same store and at the same time. They are HUGE, blooming, thriving, except for the two on the end. They're in a d...
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San Antonio, TX
Blue Natives for San Antonio
What are the best flowers or trees to buy since we are always in stage 2 and sometimes in stage 3 water conservation? I love flowers that are blue, preferably year around. THANK YOU
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San Antonio, TX
Sophora seeds to give away
When we moved to TX years ago we bought a mountain laurel so we could have the beautiful purple flowers and were disappointed when the flowers every year were white (with a few purple ones here and th...
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San Antonio, TX
Identifying problem with non-native plumbagos in San Antonio
Barbara Medford answered my question on plumbagos..we have the ones that grow crazy in TX (not sure which species, but w/ the bright blue/purple blooms..). I have pictures and wasn't sure where to se...
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San Antonio, TX
Water Gardening
I took the landscaping class several years ago, and now would like to put in a section of aquatic plants. Starting small, I was initially looking for a ceramic bowl-type container, and I need to know...
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san antonio, TX
Looking for a supplier of Commelina erecta.
I'm looking for a nursery that sells Commelina erecta?
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