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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

Bandera, TX
Deer resistant shade plants for Southern Texas
Looking for low shrubs and flowers that will grow in full shade and that would be mostly deer resistant. North facing front of our house.
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Bandera, TX
Deer-resistant native plants for privacy fence in Bandera, TX
I am trying to have a living privacy fence of some type of evergreen shrubs that would grow about 6ft tall and that would be deer resistant. It would be good if didn't need a lot of maintenance. Do y...
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Bandera, TX
Clicking heard under an Oak in near Bandera, TX
Hi, I live on a ranch in TX outside of Bandera. We're covered with live oaks, spanish oak and cedar. Last week,as I stood under an oak, I heard a constant fairly loud clicking sound under and around ...
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Bandera, TX
killing clover in Bandera
How may one kill clover while not killing native wild flowers in one's lawn?
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Bandera, TX
Need to know about little brown spots on Texas Mountain Laurel
I have little brown spots on my Texas Mountain Laurel leaves. I can email you a picture if needed. What could it be and how can I help my little laurels work thru these spots? The texas mountain ...
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Bandera, TX
Propagating a white cultivar of Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora
I am trying to propagate a white cultivar of the Texas Mountain Laurel. I plan to use bee sticks and pollinate the plant. Are the plants self fruiting or do I need to find another white mountain laure...
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Bandera, TX
Failure to thrive of Lantanas
Here at work we have 4 beautiful yellow Santanas(should I say had), the leaves have started to turn brown and no longer blooming. Appears to have a fungus or disease. Please help!
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Medina, TX
Drought & Deer Resistant Shrub for Shade in Medina, TX
We are dedicated to native plants in Medina, but are desperate to find a drought and deer resistant shrub for shade. Would we be too far off base with an oleander bush? We know birds and most butterfl...
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Medina, TX
Non-native ligustrum in non-native fescue in Medina TX
Is there an effective way to kill baby ligustrums coming up in my fescue yard without harming the grass?
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Comfort, TX
Non-native Jerusalem Sage from Comfort TX
I live in Comfort, TX. I have 3 Jerusalem sage plants that bloom beautifully each year. However, just the past week one has started turning yellow and brown. The leaves look withered and ready to die....
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Comfort, TX
Century plant dying after bloom
My century plant is so tall that it is up to the top of the telephone pole top lines that carry our streets electric. I was wanting to know if you knew if I cut the stock off would it save the plant ...
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Comfort, TX
Plant screen for Comfort TX
My house sits on a hill between Fredericksburg and Comfort. Darn, if my neighbors didn't build so close to my property line that I can see into their cabin when the trees drop their leaves in the f...
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Comfort, TX
Problems with Agave americana in Comfort TX
We have lost a huge agave americana and are not able to find out what to do for our others. The one we lost was rotted or eaten (beetles?) at the base and the whole thing just fell over. We have a l...
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Comfort, TX
Insects attacking Gregg's Blue Mistflower from Comfort TX
I have a beautiful stand of Gregg's Blue Mist flower that have been attacked by an unknown insect. The new growth is curled and stunted and it is not flowering. I'm not alone..I've seen the Gregg'...
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Comfort, TX
Native Plants Toxic to Dogs?
Are society garlic, Salvia greggii, black escarpment cherries, and wine cup wildflowers toxic to dogs?
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Boerne, TX
Will Black Walnut trees grow in Boerne TX?
Was curious if any one sells Black Walnut Trees??? They used to be around the Boerne, TX area and I wondered if we could try to grow them.
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Boerne, TX
Sudden death of Texas Mountain Laurel
Last year, my 15-year-old Mountain Laurel died very suddenly. The leaves began to curl up and turn brown, and it was dead within about 15 days. What happened?
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Boerne, TX
Is Desert willow poisonous to horses in Boerne TX
I have just purchased Bubba Desert Willows and have horses. Will they eat them, do you know and if so will they be harmed? Thanks
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Boerne, TX
Transplanting a redbud in Boerne TX
Hi there, My question is when is it safe to transplant a native tree? I have a redbud tree come up in m flower bed I want to try to transplant it instead of cutting it out. It is very young - maybe 4-...
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Boerne, TX
Half-life of the insecticide imidacloprid
How long do systemic insecticides such as imidacloprid (Merit) remain active in nursery grown plants? Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed)is frequently grown with imidacloprid to prevent...
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Boerne, TX
Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
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