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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

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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Monday - March 31, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native shrubs that can be pruned to shape in Austin, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have some shrubs in our NE facing front yard in Austin in the Steiner Ranch Area. The shrubs are native, and give good flowers in spring and summer, but are not trimmable and I want something like native holly that maintains a good shape. I'd like your opinion on some replacement shrubs that hug the foundation/front face of the house. How do I upload a pictur

ANSWER:

Finding a shrub native to Texas that takes trimming and/or shaping well is not all that easy. Most Texas plants are more nearly free spirits, sticking stems and thorns every which way. However, two of our favorites for foundation plants are Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) and Ilex vomitoria (yaupon). Both will grow well in Central Texas, and both grow fairly quickly and can be pruned for shape. They both ordinarily need more than 6 hours of sun a day, but can get by on a little less, which may be the case since you want them on the side of your house facing northeast.

It also looked like you were asking how to upload a picture. Go to the Mr. Smarty Plants page, and look in the lower right-hand corner for full instructions.


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

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