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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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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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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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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
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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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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Kerrville, TX
Will Pavonia lasiopetala grow in Oklahoma from Kerrville Tx
How successfully could I grow Pavonia lasiopetala in central Oklahoma? My research shows that it is not native to Oklahoma.
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Kerrville, TX
Erosion tolerant plants for shade from Kerrville TX
We have just cleared a lot of cedar out of a small draw and would like to know the best groundcovers, shrubs, etc. to plant to hold the soil. Deep shade most of the day.
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Kerrville, TX
Soil improvement near Kerrville, TX
We live in the Kerrville area; the soil is extremely shallow and deficient. The yard consists of mainly native plants, with a concentration of plants for butterflies and birds. What kind of soil and ...
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Kerrville, TX
Need help with pruning my Anacacho Orchid tree.
We have an Anacacho Orchid Tree which has done so well in its location that we will need to prune it back. Please advise how much we can prune it and what time of year to do so. Thank you
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Kerrville, TX
Need suggestions for native grasses to stabilize hillside Kerrville, TX.
We have a steep slope at the back of our property in "caleche" territory in Kerrville. It is about 80 feet wide by 40 feet and ends at a wash. It is outside of our fenced yard and we are in city lim...
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Kerrville, TX
Desert Willow and Orchid tree with no upper leaves from Kerrville TX
I have two 5 year old Desert Willows planted in my yard. This year only one has leaved out and blooming. The other is bare but the branches are not dead and it has new growth at the bottom. Do you kno...
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Kerrville, TX
Seeds of Castilleja purpurea
The seed photo for Castilleja purpurea is incorrect; seeds are black and poppyseed size.
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Kerrville, TX
When and how to mow native grass in Texas
We live on a ranch near Kerrville. The grass is sparse KR, purple three-awn and some Texas wintergrass. How and when is the best way and time to mow this native grass?
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Kerrville, TX
Rows of red, white and blue flowers in Kerrville, TX
I have 1/3 acre project on the Guadalupe river in Kerrville Tx. I want to plant 3 rows, of red, white and blue flowers that are at best deer resistant. I have added 84 yards of lake btms (Ingram Lake...
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Kerrville, TX
Chlorosis in tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa
I planted both tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa. Both are chlorotic and the native milkweed has brown upturned leaves. Could it possibly be too much water? Or what?
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Kerrville, TX
Deer resistant, shade tolerant foundation plants for Kerrville TX
I'm looking for foundation plants for shade that are deer resistant. Tall as well as medium height.
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Kerrville, TX
Are there plants that are resistant to axis deer?
Greetings! I live about 10 miles south of Kerrville, Texas, toward Medina. I wish to begin planting more natives on a plot we have recently purchased. Some plants will go inside a fence that deer...
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Kerrville, TX
Pruning a rough-leaf dogwood in spring
Is it OK to trim a rough leaf dogwood now? Should I spray after trimming? Thanks
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Kerrville, TX
Deer resistance of non-native Leyland Cypress from Kerrville TX
Are Leyland cypress deer resistant?
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Kerrville, TX
Pruning drought-stressed butterfly plants from Kerrville TX
Due to the drought, our butterfly bushes have dead branches. Ordinarily we prune the dormant plants in winter, but can we cut back dead branches now?
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