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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 - December 24, 2012

From: Whitney, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Seed and Plant Sources, Watering, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Trees
Title: Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ways and a stone patio in there. The area is on a slight hill and I am having erosion problem. I can water this area but prefer not to have to water it regularly. I am a novice to any type of gardening. Do you have suggestions as to what to plant and where to purchase these suggestions?

ANSWER:

We love new gardeners because we can encourage them to get onto what we consider the right track. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which those plants grow naturally.

A question very similar to yours has also just been answered by Mr. Smarty Plants, including what to do about the jasmine (non-native and very invasive), and plants that make good shade groundcover, all native to the area of North Central Texas, where Hill County is.

You may spend a half a day reading all those sites and the links they have to take you to plant webpages, etc., but there are all kinds of good ideas for shade, erosion control and water conservation. Your last question concerned sources for purchasing plants and/or seeds. Go to our National Suppliers Directory, put your town and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can check in advance to see if they stock what you need or can get it for you. There are lots of alternate plant choices in these various previous answers that you should be able to settle on something that you can obtain.

 

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