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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

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
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
Shade Tolerant Groundcover for Texas
I live in Atascosa county in Pleasanton Texas, I have an abundance of Live Oak and Ash trees shading my property and need a groundcover for my backyard which is nothing but sand and where I have dogs ...
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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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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
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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San Antonio, TX
Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being d...
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San Antonio, TX
Information about glucose concentration in plants for Science Fair project
I am a high school student enrolling in science fair. MY topic is as follows, "Can a plant be removed from the sun and put in dark and still survive if I directly inject glucose into the stem/roots (...
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San Antonio, TX
Searching for an Escarpment Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) for sale
I am trying to find an Escarpment Black Cherry Tree for planting in my yard. Do you know of anyone that carries this particular type of tree?
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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
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
Montezuma cypress trees for San Antonio
Are Montezuma cypress trees good drought tolerant trees for your yard? I live 30 miles south of San Antonio; would this tree be good for this area?
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San Antonio, TX
Identification of vine with green flowers
Trying to identify a vine with 5-petaled ~1 cm dia green flowers (w/ barely perceptible white & black speckles). I have 3 photos I can send (showing flowers & leaves). The flower petals are almost...
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San Antonio, TX
Native plants that do not attract any kind of wildlife.
Hi I live in Bexar County, Texas and I was wondering what would be some good NATIVE plants that could be planted in yards that do not attract any kind of wildlife (so no berries, nuts, fruits, thick c...
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