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topicquestion
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...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

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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Is there a vine in Indiana with poisonous thorns?
December 27, 2011
I was cut at the left big toe by a brownish/red thorny vine while tracking thru dry grass near the bridge exiting 278. I'm from Indianapolis, in 46208. Was wondering if I was exposed to a poisonous v...
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Plants for a bare clay slope in North Carolina
December 22, 2011
Hi - I live near Raleigh North Carolina (border of the coastal plain and Piedmont). I have about 1/2 acre that was excavated for a geothermal heating/cooling system and now I need to stabilize it a...
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Taking stock in where and what you grow in Denver Colorado
December 22, 2011
I have two year old stock plants growing in a container in my home and they are finally starting to bloom. However, the buds open but don't produce any petals. Also they are experiencing yellow leave...
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Source for Dichondra plants
December 22, 2011
I thought I was looking for "Dollar Weed" because the leaf is round and flat like a silver dollar and a little bit like wild violets, is extremely low growing and is in a lot of lawns especially und...
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Need to Stabilize River Bank in Kentucky
December 20, 2011
My home borders the Ohio River. I have lost a great deal of soil to the river. I am looking for plants with tight root systems that are water tolerant to protect my shoreline. Thanks
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Plant identification
December 20, 2011
I am new to Florida and can't find the identification of one of my plants anywhere. It's an unattractive plant that is stick-like, very rubbery - it reminds me of a stick-bug. I have a small one i...
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Are buckbrush (coralberry) berries poisonous?
December 20, 2011
Are the berries on buckbrush (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) poisonous to humans?
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Frost damage to native plants in Austin
December 19, 2011
Hello, We bought a number of native plants at this fall's WFC sale and planted them. The recent frost seems to have defoliated our pitcher sage, beautyberry, butterflyweed, and flame acanthus plan...
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Burning back Gulf Muhly instead of trimming from San Antonio
December 19, 2011
A few years ago I noticed that the Center burned back its Gulf Muhly rather than cutting it back. Did that study result in any conclusions or recommendations?
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Source of dollarweed for shady lawn in Hillsboro TX
December 19, 2011
I live in Hillsboro,Tx - Where can I get Dollar Weed for my shady lawn?
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Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
December 19, 2011
I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
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Live oak leaves turning yellow after planting in Houston
December 19, 2011
We bought a 65 gallon live oak in early October, and have been watering fairly heavily three days a week. It seemed OK, then all of a sudden lots of the leaves are turning yellow. Is it getting too ...
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Plants resistant to salt spray in FL
December 18, 2011
What type of plants can I put in a small planter bed next to a waterfall with a saltwater pool? Everything I put in there dies. I live in Southwest Florida.
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Bluebonnets in Vermont
December 18, 2011
Hi - I visited my sister in early November and we were given a sample of bluebonnet seeds. I live in Vermont, though and did not try to plant them in the ground here, as I believe they will not surviv...
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Destruction of Straggler Daisy in Austin
December 18, 2011
I hate Straggler Daisy. Not to be offensive, but it appears from other posts on this site that you, Mr. Smarty Plants, and many others would like to treat it as a protected species. It is taking over ...
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Ground cover plant that tastes like cucumbers
December 18, 2011
It is a native ground cover plant that is edible and tastes like cucumbers. Found in the Edwards Plateau. What is the name?
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Canadian Marine West Coast Plants
December 15, 2011
What type of plants are found in the Canadian marine west coast climate?
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Flowering plant for container on lanai in South Florida
December 15, 2011
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to purchase a flowering plant for my ailing mother for Christmas. It has to be able to grow in shade so I can place it on her table on her lanai for her to be a...
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When to seed a native grass lawn in a drought area?
December 15, 2011
I want to plant a native grass lawn. It is raining now. Can I plant it in December? It might not be raining in the spring if the drought continues.
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Science Fair Question
December 12, 2011
Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I'm working on a project for the science fair and I need to find a plant that can survive in all climates in order for my experiment to work. What plant should I use? I hope ...
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Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011
First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
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Due to drought is pruning live oaks beneficial from Houston
December 07, 2011
Would it be beneficial (presuming a continued spring drought) to prune live oak trees more severely than usual this winter? I'm thinking that it might help them to have less mass to support.
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Native plants in Denton Co. TX pollinated by bats or hummingbirds
December 07, 2011
I am looking for a list of Denton Co. TX native plants that are pollinated by bats? Do we have any? How about hummingbirds?
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Consumption of carbon dioxide from South Korea
December 07, 2011
I am curious about what flowers consume CO2 for growing (especially 1-year life flower). Thanks.
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Problems with non-native Canary Date Palms from Miami FL
December 06, 2011
Hi: The fronts of my canary date palm, which I planted about 6 years ago, has been getting brown from the bottom of the tree and working itself towards the top for the past several months now. The b...
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Information on orchid Spiranthes odorata from Golden MS
December 06, 2011
I live in N.W. MS and am fortunate enough to receive 'Wildflower'. Even though it's geared to TX I was wondering if you can provide me information on the Spiranthes odorata that sprang up in my yar...
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Fast-growing non-invasive shrub for privacy fence in Sugar Land TX
December 06, 2011
I live in South Texas in Sugar Land. I was going to plant oleanders in my backyard along the fence as a privacy hedge, about 20 feet from my house. However, I was told they were a bad choice becaus...
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Is installing irrigation with Habiturf a good idea in Round Rock Texas?
December 05, 2011
Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri...
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Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011
I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Failure to thrive of Tex-ash in Tucson AZ
December 02, 2011
I planted a mature (15') Tex-Ash about a year ago. Lately more and more leaves seem to be browning and it has never filled out. I am concerned I am going to lose it if I don't get it something befor...
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Sending a picture of an oak from Yorktown TX
December 02, 2011
How I can I send a pic of my oak in Yorktown near Cuero?
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Climbing native roses for Garland TX
December 02, 2011
I live in Garland, Dallas County, TX and would like climbing roses on the trellis situated against my brick home. What kind would you recommend for the area and any that would be easy to care for. T...
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North American Plants with Poisonous Thorns
December 01, 2011
Are there any plants in North America that possess poisonous thorns?
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Florida hanging vine with occasional red tongue-like leaves
December 01, 2011
I live in south Florida and I used to grow a hanging vine that had green slender leaves and an occasional red leaf that looked like a tongue that protruded horizontally from the plant. do you know wha...
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Bee-pasture recommendations for AR
November 30, 2011
Hello, I live in Melbourne, Ar, up in the NE corner of the state. I keep bees and would like to put in a couple acres of something for them. I'm leaning towards Viper's Bugloss. Do you know where I ...
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