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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members 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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Nitrogen Fixing plants for Austin Texas
September 22, 2014
I recently saw a piece on Central Texas Gardener recommending winter covers to fix nitrogen such as elbow rye, hairy vetch, and crimson clover. Can you recommend a native plant that will grow through...
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Why are my Rock Roses dying?
September 22, 2014
I planted several rock roses last fall. This spring they have grown wonderfully, but all of a sudden, one shriveled and died. I took it out and replaced it. Now, another is starting to shrivel. It ...
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Shearing Pink Skullcaps
September 21, 2014
My pink skullcap plants keep dying. The ones that are still alive are about 3 years old, but have large sections of dry twigs. Do I shear them and hope they come back or are they gone? I live in Helot...
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Need help with century plant in Willis, TX
September 21, 2014
Ok so I have two gorgeously monstrous century plants in my yard..I love em BUT I don't know if the have ever bloomed but since I am removing pups as fast as I can during the rainy season I'm assumin...
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What is the plant called wingspan?
September 21, 2014
I have a lot of environmental allergies and saw a positive result for "wingspan" yet I cannot find ANY information online about that particular plant. I was told it's "tumbleweed" by the medical ...
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Plant identification
September 20, 2014
I was recently visiting Texas and kept seeing a particular plant in drainage bottoms and wetland areas (note these areas at the time of my visit were very dry). I was hoping you might be able to help...
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Need native plants to place in chicken coop in Charolette, NC
September 20, 2014
Hi, I live near Charlotte, NC. I'm looking for native plants that I can plant in my chicken coop that will produce food for the chickens. If they also produced some delicious food for me, I wouldn't...
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When is best time to plant seeds of Texas Nightshade in San Antonio, TX?
September 20, 2014
I need to know the time to plant seeds of Texas Nightshade. Can I plant them now ( August ), or wait till fall or spring?
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Shrub with thorns, black fruit and citrus fragrance in Michigan
September 19, 2014
I'm not sure that my plant is a native, but I'm hoping to find some answer. There is a small patch of roadside shrubs on my property which I've been unable to identify. They have simple opposite ...
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Desert Willow Roots from Lubbock, TX
September 18, 2014
I have a very, very happy Desert Willow that has grown larger than we expected and is probably too close to the house. Do I need to worry about a cracked foundation or pipe problems? Thanks!
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