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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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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

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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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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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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Hondo, TX
How common is white blooming Mountain Laurel
Is white blooming Mountain Laurel common?
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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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Charlotte, TX
Trees for clay soil from Charlotte TX
We have an area in our yard that even Esperanzas won't grow. It is near another that does great. Six Esperanzas are planted in a north/south row about with 10' between plants, the southern most plan...
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Jourdanton, TX
Recently planted Monterey Oaks doing poorly in Jourdanton, TX.
We planted 2 nice size Monterrey oak trees in April .they were doing good with new growth on them. But now I have been noticing the leaves are turning brown around the edges. We water about once a wee...
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Pleasanton, TX
Getting blueberries to grow in Atascosa County, Texas
I'm trying to get blueberries started in my garden. I mulch constantly and have tons of success with almost every thing. But last year my blueberries were new plants and after harvesting a few berrie...
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Pleasanton, TX
Growing Green milkweed vine from seed
I was given some seed for the pearl milkweed vine which I intend to plant, but I can find no information on whether to stratify or scarify them or just plant them. I know some milkweeds require strati...
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Pleasanton, TX
Sycamore leaf snowbell from Pleasanton TX
How do you care for a sycamore leaf snowbell. Does it like sun or part shade? How much water? How often and what should it be fed. How fast or slowly does it grow? Anything you can tell me would be ap...
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Pleasanton, TX
Germinating Hibiscus martianus, Heartleaf hibiscus
Is there some secret to getting Heart Leaf Hibiscus to germinate from seed? I have tried several times, but have had no luck getting them to germinate.
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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
Cold damage to Texas wild olive tree in San Antonio
I have a Texas Olive tree that was unprotected from the 2010 cold winter here in San Antonio, TX. It is the end of April and there is no sign of growth on any of the branches. If the tree is still a...
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San Antonio, TX
What are the best deep shade plants for San Antonio?
What are the best deep shade plants for San Antonio?
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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
Locating wildflowers for school project in March
I have been assigned a school project to collect 10 wildflowers by March. I don't see any around to collect this time of year. Do you know where I could find some? I live in San Antonio.
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San Antonio, TX
Tiny red bugs on Mountain Laurel from San Antonio TX
Hordes of solid bright red tiny bugs are all over the bark of my Mountain Laurels. The infestation has me very worried. How can I deal with them? Thank you in advance for helping solve this problem.
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San Antonio, TX
Spring blooming plants for spring sun and summer shade
I live in San Antonio. I'm faced with a dilemma. I've got mature native pecans. In the summer they provide beautiful full shade. However, in the winter and even into the late spring, my yard is ...
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San Antonio, TX
Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
I have a large evergreen sumac in my back yard that started off as a small shrub 10 years ago. This summer the leaves turned red and now have dropped off. Is the plant dead? It sent out two smaller pl...
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San Antonio, TX
Further information on Melochia tomentosa in San Antonio
Information in your database is limited for Melochia tomentosa. I would appreciate any further information you can provide such as requirements for sunlight, soils, water,etc.
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