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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!

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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
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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Hondo, TX
How common is white blooming Mountain Laurel
Is white blooming Mountain Laurel common?
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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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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
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
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
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
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
Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas ple...
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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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San Antonio, TX
Can non-native coleus grow in mulch from San Antonio
Can Coleus plants grow in Mulch only?
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San Antonio, TX
Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
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San Antonio, TX
Groundcover for shade under oaks in San Antonio
I have been modifying my landscape to reduce grass and the need for frequent watering. Have turned half the backyard into native plants garden with hardscape and sitting areas. Have 2 mature Monterey ...
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San Antonio, TX
Are grape vines killing oaks in San Antonio
I have some large live oaks growing in sand on some property I have south of San Antonio that are slowly dying one limb at a time. Some large mustang grape vines are growing in and around them and I ...
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San Antonio, TX
Pruning tips for Texas Mountain Laurel.
Towards the end of May, I planted some Mountain Laurel seeds in pots. They are about six inches high now and starting to branch out. Do I need to trim off the leaves on the main stem below the branche...
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san antonio, TX
Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
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