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topicquestion
Removal of non-native invasive Ligustrum japonica from Austin
February 14, 2012
I bought a house that I am slowly turning into a native garden, but as a teacher, I have a really small budget. One entire border of my backyard (30 feet) was planted with evil Ligustrum japonica. I l...
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Trees native to Anza Valley California
February 14, 2012
What are the best trees to plant in Aguanga, California?
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Non-toxic plants for horses in Virginia from Doswell VA
February 13, 2012
Looking for a list of Non Toxic plants to horses in the State of Virginia.
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More information on plants native to Taylor County TX
February 13, 2012
Re: Thursday - September 15, 2011 QUESTION: Am looking for direction to a complete list of plants native to the Abilene, Taylor County, Texas area (trees, shrubs, grasses, cacti and other plants ...
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Native Plants for Galveston
February 12, 2012
I'm looking for low maintenance, drought tolerant plants for Galveston, on the bay side, in a well drained area with morning sun. I was thinking of Phlox, Muhly grass, Lantana.....and I am looking f...
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Information about pre-1920s biodiversity near San Antonio
February 12, 2012
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am transforming my .3 acre urban yard three miles north of downtown San Antonio into a native wildscape. I am planting all native plants using your website, books, and nea...
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Landscaping plans in Kyle TX
February 12, 2012
I am starting from scratch in a backyard (approx. 52'x25')in Central Texas (Kyle). The backyard is on the north side of the single story house. I would like to have plants and trees that attract and...
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How much water does St. Augustine require in Junction, TX?
February 12, 2012
Can you point me towards a concrete study on how much water St Augustine requires to survive? Much appreciated - Native American Seed
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Need perennials for front beds in south-facing house ib San Angelo, TX.
February 12, 2012
What perennials will work in my front beds of southern facing house in West Texas?
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Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012
We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
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What is the application rate for dried molasses in Leander, TX??
February 10, 2012
I bought dry molasses to add to my soil but the bag doesn't say anything about how much to add. Should I just sprinkle it around and it doesn't matter if it is more or less? I have 2.25 acres so I...
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Moving potted plants from California to Georgetown TX
February 10, 2012
Hi, I am moving from Gilroy CA to Georgetown TX, I have many potted plants I would love to take with me but I am not sure what would survive in my new location. These plants have been cared for so ma...
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Container plants for Arlington TX
February 10, 2012
Mr. Smarty Plants, I just moved to Arlington, TX. I am trying to create a container garden on my apartment balcony. What flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit combinations can I put together that wil...
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Plants for north side from Dale TX
February 10, 2012
What native trees and bushes can I plant on the north side of house? Can I use corn meal( I NEED FIGHT A GRASS) in flowerbed and then plant native wildlife seeds(FLOWERS)?
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Yucca filamentosa suffering from damp feet in Houston
February 09, 2012
Last year, I planted three enormous and gorgeous Yucca Filamentosa in my backyard. Two are thriving but the third started turning yellow then brown from the bottom up after a few weeks of rains. S...
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Edibility of peppervine berries from Madison MS
February 09, 2012
I am following up on a question I've posed to many well experienced foragers and naturalists regarding the pepper vine plant or Ampelopsis arbor. There are many conflicting stories regarding the edib...
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Native grasses and turf grass for VA
February 08, 2012
I recently moved to Blacksburg, Virginia. I am becoming involved with a church here that recently started a grounds committee. There is some discussion within the group of which varieties of native ...
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Evergreen ground cover for PA
February 08, 2012
I live outside of Harrisburg, PA. We are looking for a perennial ground cover that is long blooming and evergreen. It would be planted under some trees that would give them the whole range of sun (f...
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Are there drug cartels on the bluebonnet trails from Lake City FL
February 08, 2012
We plan to fly to TX to see bluebonnets but do not know if the weather and forest fires have destroyed them. If not, can you estimate the peak bloom time? We are 75 and 81 and move around rather s...
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Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
February 07, 2012
Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
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Trees to replace live oaks in Driftwood TX
February 07, 2012
I am looking for ideas on what trees to plant in Driftwood, TX to replace live oaks that have been lost to oak wilt.
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Need a 2-4 ft shrub for the shady NW side of the house in Austin, TX
February 07, 2012
I am looking for a 2-4 ft tall shrub or hedge to plant along the NW side of my house, which is shaded by a live oak. This area doesn't get any direct sun. I wondered if a row of Winter Gem Boxwoods ...
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Planting time for non-natives in Irving TX
February 07, 2012
Have dwarf nandinas and two lorapetalums that I want to transplant. Can I do it now February 6th 2012?
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Need to plant something in the cracks in my patio in Skipperville, AL.
February 06, 2012
Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a cement patio full of cracks. I would like to grow some sort of plant or plants in the cracks. I live in lower Alabama, and my patio is in full sunlight. Do you have an...
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Need plants to grow between flagstones in Vista, CA.
February 06, 2012
Hi, I have put in a flagstone patio set in DG. The DG is creating a very sandy messy surface on the flagstone, so want to plant a low ground cover between the joints. Its a fairly large area, in sun...
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Can Habiturf be planted by hydroseeding from Austin?
February 04, 2012
We are thinking about seeding our lawn with HABITURF. Could you provide any input on whether HABITURF can be planted by hydroseeding? Thanks!
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Buds disappearing from magnolia in New Jersey
February 04, 2012
I live in New Jersey.I planted my 5.gal Vulcan magnolia in December. It came with 4 big buds and 3 small buds.I planted in good location where it gets lots of sun. The tree is well settled and looked ...
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Identification of strange dark green blobs
February 03, 2012
In my back yard I have a type of plant with no roots only around in the summer and when it rains. It looks like a person took a piece lettuce and put way too much water into it and wadded it up. It ...
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Trees to replace some non-native invasives in Deltona FL
February 02, 2012
I would like to replace 3 large ChinaBerry & 3 large Chinese Tallow trees in my good sized back yard with some local wildlife friendly trees native to the Deltona area(first area.) What do you recomme...
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Box elder beetles in Austin TX
February 02, 2012
We have an large infestation of box elder beetles. They are crawling all over the yard and sometimes on the outside of the house. When you walk in the yard a cloud of them rises up and fills the air. ...
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Invasive, non-native Siberian peashrub for waller TX
February 02, 2012
Good Morning Mr. Smarty Plants! I am trying to find out if the Siberian Pea Shrub is a good plant for Southeast Texas or if it is considered an invasive no no. It seems to have many qualities for wild...
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Best wildflowers for Lamar County TX
February 02, 2012
What are the best wildflowers for northeast Tx? We live right below the Red River just north of Paris. Can they only be planted by seed in the fall? Thank you.
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Reducing Allergens in Yards and Gardens
January 31, 2012
What are some allergen-free native plants to Central Texas that thrive in the soil and can survive in the weather?
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Identification of bushes with red berries in Tennessee
January 31, 2012
I was recently traveling thru Clarksville, TN and saw these bushes (at the shopping mall) that had clusters of small red berries on them. They were not a Holly that I know of. The leaves were not th...
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When to prune Texas Coral Honeysuckle in Iredell, TX?
January 31, 2012
When can I prune Texas coral honeysuckle? It needs to be pruned so that it will fill out. Also, how much do I prune it? Thank you,
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Habiturf in Houston
January 30, 2012
I want to install a Multi-Species Native Lawn, like HABITURF. However, I live in Houston, Texas and most of your information on this topic doesn't address my region. As I don't have a heavily shaded...
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Problem with non-native Houttuynia cordata (chameleon)
January 30, 2012
I have a Houttuynia cordata chameleon plant in a clay pot. My zone is 9b and my yard is partial sun. Up until January, it was thriving. Now, it is dead. I think the cold killed it. I kept it moist at ...
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Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012
What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
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Restoring tornado-damaged property in Alexander City AL
January 29, 2012
Dear Mr Smartypants, We were struck by the outbreak of tornadoes last spring and our wonderful woods are now unsightly sloping pastures with erosion problems.. many stumps and coils of roots. We are...
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Instructions for pictures from Red Bud IL
January 29, 2012
Mr. Smarty Plants, I followed your instructions on how to submit pictures for you to identify "If you would like to know what the plant is that came up, Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plan...
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Wholesale dry yucca trunks and branches from California
January 29, 2012
Where can I buy wholesale dry yucca trunks and branches? I have spent the last hour looking for them and can only find nurseries and decorative branches.
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Finding Connecticut grasses on website from NY City
January 28, 2012
Your site w/ all its varied aids are great, and your answers are so helpful, so I don't want to seem critical with this question. I trained as a landscape architect in the Northeast 20 years ago a...
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Full list of grasses for Connecticut from New York City
January 28, 2012
Sorry, this is a followup to the native Connecticut grass query I sent half an hour ago. I see that it was asking for 'recommended species' that I ended up with such a short list of grasses (3). Th...
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Are palm tree thorns poisonous?
January 27, 2012
Almost 3 weeks ago I trimmed the fronds of my pygmy date palm. The tip of a thorn was stuck in my finger. I pulled it out. The side of my finger is still very painful and my finger is swollen. I c...
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Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012
We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
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Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012
I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
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Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012
I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
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Seed Habiturf on top of existing St. Augustine from Austin
January 26, 2012
We don't want to rip up an existing St. Augustine lawn (potential HOA problems), but we'd like to go native grasses (like Habiturf?). Is there anything we can just seed on top of our present lawn a...
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Obtaining bark of Larix laricina from Hyderabad India
January 26, 2012
I am in need of Larix laricina (Bark) for my research work. Please let me know how to procure it.
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Planting fruit and nut trees in Archer, FL.
January 26, 2012
We're looking to plant a few fruit and nut trees in Archer, Florida. We've been thinking about figs, apples, peaches, oranges, plums, and whatever nuts grow best here (looks like almonds and pecan...
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Live oak leaves yellowing from Denton TX
January 26, 2012
In autumn of 2010 I planted 10 live oaks about 6 to 7 ft. tall. I have see that during the month of Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012 they are showing some yellow leaves. What can I do to help them?
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Controlling oak suckers in Austin
January 26, 2012
I live in Austin TX and have one particular native Oak tree in my back yard with a large bed around it. I don't plan on planting anything else in the bed since it is already nicely landscaped along ...
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Drought resistant flowering plants for Spring, TX
January 25, 2012
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. I live in Spring Tx. and wanted to plant a garden in my front yard. I'm looking for flowering plants that are colorful, easy to manage, and drought resistant but so far can't fi...
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Habiturf installation after Take-All fungus
January 24, 2012
Are other soil remedies needed (besides those listed in your Habiturf brochure) to install Habiturf on land which had a St. Augustine lawn which was decimated by take all patch.
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Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
January 24, 2012
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
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Questions about care and pruning of Mexican Plum and Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
January 24, 2012
I have a couple of questions regarding tree care and pruning. I have a Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana), about 10 years old or so. I would like to prune it. Is it ok to prune now in late wi...
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Spreading compost from Kyle TX
January 22, 2012
I'm trying to find if there is some type of "implement" to help spread compost in my yard that is easier than a shovel and rake. Any ideas?
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Comments on article in Austin paper
January 22, 2012
Why can't we comment on your piece in the Statesman? It says no comments possible at the bottom.
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Will Habiturf work in Houston?
January 20, 2012
I am looking to plant the parking strip between the sidewalk and street - about 6-7 feet wide. Would Habiturf work in Houston. The webside lists areas of Texas, but wasn't sure if Houston was incl...
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Ilex vomitoria Sufering from Drought?
January 19, 2012
My Ilex vomitoria has always thrived. It is about ten years old. This fall, a portion of the leaves on the ends of the branches have turned yellow on the edges with green veining in the center. Othe...
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Central Texas plants highly deer resistant from Austin
January 19, 2012
I'm helping a friend who has a severe deer problem in Westlake. The Deer Resistant list includes over 300 species, but they are classified as "mild" or "moderate" or "high" Deer Resistance. Is ...
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Need tree suggestions for a long, narrow strip in Folsom, CA.
January 18, 2012
I live in Folsom, Ca. I have a long strip (50') of planting area about 2.5' wide at the top of a retaining wall to the fence behind it. I would like to plant alternating (2) trees down this strip to...
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Plants for steep lakeside bank in Minnesota
January 17, 2012
I am new to MN and would like to plant some pretty plants on my steep lakeside bank. What type plants and flowers should I plant to prevent erosion, but not block the lake view?
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Moving "lily of the valley" from MD to TX. Is that OK?
January 17, 2012
My question pertains to lily of the valley. From your database, I learned that it is a native plant but only the following states were listed: GA , KY , NC , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV. I am moving from...
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Changing the pH of the soil
January 16, 2012
Hi, We have a job that has mostly Texas native plants on it. The architect is wanting to drop the pH levels of the soils to acidic levels that we don't feel is good for the plants and the area. ...
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Fertilizing oaks to produce acorns
January 16, 2012
Will fertilizing oak trees help with acorn production?
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Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012
Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
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Horsetail Rush invasive in Santa Monica CA
January 16, 2012
Mr. Smarty Plants: I live about 3 miles from the beach in the Santa Monica area and have an 18inch deep planter area in my backyard that is adjacent to my garage. I like the look of horsetail rush. I...
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Identification of shrub with red berries in Kentucky
January 14, 2012
I live in Laurel CO, KY. I am trying to identify a shrub/tree. The leaves are green and may turn reddish orange. There are huge pods of red berries hanging.
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Chesapeake Bay Erosion Control from White Stone VA
January 14, 2012
Native Wetland Plants for Chesapeake Bay Erosion Control -- I have a wooded lot (pine and hardwoods)leading to 4-5 ft. wide flat shoreline edged with riprap. What native wetland plants survive salt wa...
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Negative and positive effects of invasive dandelions from Rama Ontario
January 12, 2012
How do Dandelions have a negative impact of being a invasive and a Positive impact of being a invasive species ?
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Help with Science Fair project from Danbury CT
January 12, 2012
Hello Mr Smarty, I was going to do my science project on weevils and their impact on milfoil. The weevils are in hibernation until spring and my project is due in mid-Feb. Any suggestions on a simil...
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Speeding up growth of Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
January 12, 2012
I have germinated Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca, for our Caddo Native plant sale. I have kept in the cool greenhouse for 2 months and they are about 2 inches. A friend put one outside and they froz...
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Ground cover for Connecticut sandy gravel bank
January 11, 2012
What ground cover plant can I use on a sandy gravel bank behind my house?
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Allelopathy in Sassafras albidum
January 11, 2012
Sassafras albidum description says "Sassafras is allelopathic and can discourage the growth of certain other plants within its root zone." My question is: WHICH plants are susce...
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Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
January 11, 2012
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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Managing non-native invasive creeping yellow cress in Rio Medina TX
January 10, 2012
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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Arrow weed
January 10, 2012
Is arrow weed (Pluchea serecia) shade tolerant? Do you have an on-line resource for native species?
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Questions about lilies from Trussville AL
January 10, 2012
How can I tell what kind of lily I have? Or better yet,what is the difference between Asiatic lily and a daylily? I also noticed someone asked about Cahaba lily. Just want to let you know I grow Caha...
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Seasonal tasks for Big Red Sage and Tall Aster in Marble Falls TX
January 09, 2012
I transplanted some Big Red Sage and Tall Aster into my raised bed garden in early summer this year. They've sent up lots of rosettes. Do I need to protect them from freezing in winter? Do I need to ...
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slope stabilization in Massachusetts
January 09, 2012
My family and I recently put in a 120 x 100 horseback riding ring. It had to be built up in the back and, as a result, there is a 10 foot slope which could use stabilization. What plants native to Mas...
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native plants for landscaping in Honolulu
January 08, 2012
Hi, wildflower.org has been a great help for me in learning about different plants, their Latin names and characteristics. I was looking for a list of plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials...
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Plant identification
January 08, 2012
When we moved in to this house, we planted many plants in the front landscaping. After they grew, it became too crowded. We had to move some plants to the backyard. The problem is, we have a plant tha...
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Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012
Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
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Trees and wildflowers for Matagorda County, Texas
January 06, 2012
My family has a fish farm in Palacios, Matagorda county. I would like to plant trees and wild flowers on the property. Can you suggest the appropriate kind that can withstand the salt water around an...
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Will Butterfly Plant Survive in Mansfield, Texas
January 06, 2012
I have a butterfly plant that was very successful (about 4 feet tall) right up until the cold snap three weeks ago. I've read they have a tap root, so I'm hoping it will come back next spring. Mea...
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Plant identification of vine in Tennessee
January 06, 2012
I have this vine that grows in my backyard and on the vine there are green balls about half the size of a hedge apple and inside balls are a bunch of seeds. The deer love to eat these. Do you know wha...
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When should cochineal bugs be on prickly pear cactus?
January 05, 2012
I am a fibers artist that would like to harvest the cochineal bugs from the prickly pear cactus. I would like to know what time of year should I expect to find the cochineal bugs around the Austin ar...
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SITES (or CITES) accredited source for native orchids
January 03, 2012
Do you know of a nursery which is SITES accredited which offer North American native orchids? I grow as a hobby indoor ones as well as keep my eyes out protecting the outside native ones we have: Spir...
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Planning garden tasks in advance from Austin
January 03, 2012
My yard was a disaster last year-grass and trees browning, early leaf fall on flowering plants, and water bills sky high, even with the limited watering days. What can I do this year to prevent this s...
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Preparing for planting wildflower meadow in Austin
January 02, 2012
We are in the midst of prepping beds for wildflower plantings in the spring. We spent the last month pulling up our existing lawn and invasive grasses so we are now wondering how to secure the beds f...
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Landscapers in Austin area
January 02, 2012
Can you recommend 2-3 Landscapers in the Austin area that I could get to landscape my yard? or where can I get this information?
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Identification of stem from a bouquet
January 02, 2012
I have a stem with leaves that came in a bouquet May 2011. They are still healthy in a vase of water tho they have no roots, just stem. On the back center of each leaf are protrusions half an inch lon...
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Mediterranean Pines indigenous to Verde Valley AZ
January 01, 2012
Are the tall, thin Mediterranean/Pencil Pines growing in the Verde Valley in Arizona indigenous to the area? They are so plentiful, but are not identified as an indigenous evergreen. If not, how did...
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Can Joshua Tree yucca be grown in Denham Springs LA
December 31, 2011
If planted in a patch of raised and well-drained soil and covered during heavy rains, would it be possible to grow a Joshua Tree yucca in eastern Louisiana?
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Cutting back of non-native Salvia Elegans in Portland OR
December 31, 2011
I did not trim back my pineapple sage in the fall. It is now winter and the plants are bare sticks. Should I cut them back or leave them alone?
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Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011
My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
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Can I Grow Beautyberry
December 30, 2011
Will try to be brief. Beautyberry sprouted leaves in vase of branches in water. It's NYC beginning of winter. Can I plant it outside? If not will it grow in a pot inside? Thanks. Happy New Ye...
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Need trees to screen view of parking garage in Houston, TX.
December 29, 2011
We live in Houston, TX with a beautiful lot except a 4 story parking garage has been built behind us. How can we screen this and the lights out of site. It looks terrible from the second story espec...
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Cause of trees losing bark in Arkansas
December 27, 2011
I live in very rural Arkansas and we did have extreme heat this past summer and since then I have noticed several trees in the woods that have lost huge strips of their bark and I was wondering if it ...
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