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Identification of tart fruit that looks like a pumpkin
December 10, 2016
As a child, in Miami, Florida, in the 1950's, another child challenged me to eat a "fruit" that looked like a pumpkin. It was just a little bigger than those candy pumpkins we see now at Halloween, a...
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Propagating a white cultivar of Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora
September 09, 2016
I am trying to propagate a white cultivar of the Texas Mountain Laurel. I plan to use bee sticks and pollinate the plant. Are the plants self fruiting or do I need to find another white mountain laure...
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Sequence of Seeding Wildflowers and Grasses in Texas
July 24, 2016
In the How To article on meadow gardening, it recommends that a good chunk of your garden (50%-80%) should be native grasses. The kind mentioned in that article are typically warm season grasses. In...
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Young Mexican White Oak Losing Leaves in Texas
July 13, 2016
I have a 5 yr old Mexican white oak, 20 ft tall losing its leaves mostly at the top. They turn brown & fall off. It does not lose its leaves in the winter, right?. About 3 ft from the top down is bare...
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Shade Tolerant Groundcover for Texas
July 13, 2016
I live in Atascosa county in Pleasanton Texas, I have an abundance of Live Oak and Ash trees shading my property and need a groundcover for my backyard which is nothing but sand and where I have dogs ...
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Manzanita Not Growing Well
July 11, 2016
Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I have a four native Dr. Hurd manzanitas growing in my yard, which I planted three years ago. Three seem quite happy with lots of foliage. The fourth has foliage only on this ye...
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Promoting Monarch Habitats in Texas
July 11, 2016
My parents have a 6 acre pasture in East, TX with native milkweed in it. What are the best times of year to bush hog to promote more milkweeds & do you know of any grants to help manage land for monar...
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New Lawn for a New House in Central Texas
July 11, 2016
We have a new house with a barren yard. How soon can we successfully plant grass?
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Trees for Privacy Screening in Central Texas
July 11, 2016
I live in Cedar Park, Texas and have a neighbor who likes to have parties. I need a evergreen tree/hedge that will provide privacy and sound barrier. We have some wax myrtles but they don't work. We ...
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Shrub for Shady Austin, Texas Backyard
July 11, 2016
I am looking for a colorful shrub or bush for my drab backyard in Austin. It won't get much sun and I want something native that detracts bugs if possible.
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Wildflowers for Partial Sun in East Texas
July 11, 2016
I need the name of wildflowers that will tolerate partial sun and perscribe burns in East Texas (Huntsville area) pine plantations.
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Drought Resistant Privacy Screen for North Side of Austin Texas House
July 10, 2016
We live in the densely populated Mueller development, where there's barely 3 feet from our home to the 6 foot high privacy fence between us and the house next door. Since the houses are 2 stories, we ...
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Plants for a moist, shady spot in central Texas
July 08, 2016
I am looking for a plant that will grow in almost full shade with plenty of moisture along a fence. We are looking at putting down some flagstone with possibly some moss growing in between, but we don...
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Spacing for a Desert Willow Tree in California
July 07, 2016
How close to a house can I plant a desert willow tree?
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Will Echinacea outgrow Spanish Needle?
July 07, 2016
I'd like to plant some Echinacea in an area where Spanish Needle has been growing. I've pulled up the old plants, but I know there's seed there, actually everywhere in my yard! Is there any variety ...
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Building a Rain Garden in Dallas
July 07, 2016
We are designing a rain garden to catch overflow from two large rain cisterns. We need it to be filled with plants that can live with dry and wet conditions. The garden is about 500 to 1,000 square ...
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Removing Old Poison Ivy Vines from Pecan Trees
July 07, 2016
I am in the process of cleaning up a creek bank that has very old pecan trees on it. The pecan trees have large poison ivy vines growing up the trunks. We cut one vine and when it died and fell from ...
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Lindheimer's Muhly Grass Seeds for Human Use?
July 07, 2016
Does anyone know if Lindheimer's Muhly seeds were ever used as human food source?
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Native Texas Trees from Seed for Fence Line
July 07, 2016
My parents have an unirrigated fence line on their property that they want to grow evergreen screening plants along. Given the difficulty of establishing nursery grown plants in such an unirrigated a...
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When to See Wisconsin Wildflowers Blooming?
July 07, 2016
When is the best time for Southern Wisconsin wildflower blooming?
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When to Move Potted Plants Outside in Texas?
July 07, 2016
When can I move my potted patio plants back outside? I live in Heath/ Rockwall, Texas. I have Horses tail, Croutens, and Money tree.
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Planting Canary Island Date Palm in Austin, Texas
July 07, 2016
I want to plant a Phoenix canariensis on the south side of my property in West Austin, in a sheltered location. We are on very shallow soil - on top of limestone. Does the plant have any chance of sur...
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Grass Groundcover for Georgia Hillside
July 07, 2016
I am looking for a grass to cover a hillside area down to a lake. It is mostly sunny in the spring & summer, but has no moisture except any rain that falls. I am not interested in having to mow it all...
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When Should I Prune Texas Sage?
July 07, 2016
How and when do you prune Texas sage to encourage thicker foliage?
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Seeding Bluebonnets in Missouri
July 07, 2016
I live in St. Louis, MO and obtained a packet of Bluebonnet seeds as well as a seedling. I read up on inoculating and scarifying the seeds, but I'm unsure as to the soil I should use. I was planning ...
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Using Horse Manure for the Garden
July 07, 2016
Can you use horse manure for decomposed matter for your flower beds, etc.?
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Possible Herbicide Contamination of Soil
July 07, 2016
My mother will be 80 this year and lives in Houston, Texas. She has a raised bed garden near her neighbors fence. It has been there for many years. She feels that he uses Roundup for his weeds near a...
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Shrubs for Privacy Fence in Hawaii
July 06, 2016
I live in Hawaii and need to create some privacy along a wall of my house. The septic drain field is 5' away and I am looking for 6'-8' shrubs that have shallow roots. Would something like cordyline f...
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Plants Needed for a Shaded, Rocky Slope in Alabama
July 06, 2016
I live in Alabama where the soil is clay and rocky. I've tried planting on a rocky slope I have but, it's also shaded. Not even Juniper will survive on this slope. I've spent thousands of dollars tryi...
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Green Ash Tree in California Dropping Seeds
July 06, 2016
We have two large green ash trees in our front yard. 2 yrs ago, they began to lose seeds year round. When they're green and when they turn brown. I believe they may have termites or some type of in...
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Plant Suggestions for Flower Boxes in NY
July 06, 2016
I am doing a project for a friend that had some flower boxes built along his driveway. They are along a hill leading up to his porch. They are made of all wood and have a wooden wall along the not-hil...
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Native Perennials for Dry Shade in NM
July 06, 2016
I live in Edgewood, NM at an elevation of about 7,200 ft. It is very dry here and it can get below zero (rarely) in the winter. I have some areas under cedar trees where I have had difficulty gettin...
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Savannah Holly True to Seed?
July 03, 2016
I read your information on Savannah holly. Does this mean that none of the berries will produce a Savannah holly (Ilex x attenuata) but will either be Ilex cassine or Ilex opaca seeds? Thanks so much...
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Bird Attracting Shrub for NH
July 03, 2016
I am trying to attract birds to my newly built home's front yard. I have no foliage out front near our picture window. I live in Londonderry, NH. What bush or shrub can I plant that will attract bird...
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Groundcover for Maryland Slope in Deer Country
July 03, 2016
I have a 20-30% grade hill in Maryland. I am looking for a groundcover plant (for example ivy) that I can plant on the hill. I have the following issues: clay soil, deer, full sun, limited water sourc...
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Problem with Adding 5 inches of Mulch and Soil Under Juniper
July 03, 2016
My landscaper added about 3" of mulch and 2" of dirt under my ashe junipers to create a planting bed. Several have turned gold/yellowish this winter including a female tree. They are still flexible an...
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Shade Shrubs for a NJ Slope
June 27, 2016
I live in central NJ and have a 15' shaded slope behind my home with a creek on the bottom. The slope erodes a little every year and I want to plant native plants on the slope to stop the erosion. Wha...
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Southern Live Oak Authority for Jackson MS
June 23, 2016
Who are the foremost authorities on Southern Live Oaks? May need expert testimony to oppose cutting of 50 year-old live oaks in boulevard of Riverside Drive in Jackson, MS
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Deer Resistance Input from Northern VA
June 22, 2016
Hello. I live in the deer infested woods of Northern VA. I am always looking for plants that deer have little interest in to cover other plants. The deer generally have little interest in mints (Py...
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Questions about hollyhocks and yucca
May 25, 2016
I have 2 questions. In Western N.Y. State the hollyhocks grow like weeds but add color with their large stalks. I've sent for seeds and the best I can do in N.W.Travis county is 9 inch plants that die...
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Groundcover for sunny slope in Minnesota
May 24, 2016
Hi, I'm from Apple Valley, MN. We backyard has large slope areas that get sun through out the day. We have huge weed and buck thorn problem. Can you please suggest a good ground covering plant that gr...
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Vine for 60 foot long by 2 foot high cinder block wall
May 20, 2016
Looking for a vine to cover a 60 foot long 2 foot high cinder block wall.
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Century Plant woes
May 04, 2016
My century plant was fine two weeks ago. Tonight I seen this. Not sure what is happening. It 9 years old. IMG_4716.JPG
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Cork Screw Rush doesn't spiral in Whitehall, PA.
April 29, 2016
Why won't the stems on my cork screw rush plant twist and/or spiral? It's planted outside. It was twisting and spirally when I planted it. Growing outside the past 4 years but does not twist or curl l...
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Cedar Elms too close together
April 27, 2016
I'm fairly new to North Texas and recently bought a new home with 2 young cedar elms in the front yard. From my understanding these trees can grow quite large. My front is about 25 feet wide and the...
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Sophora seeds to give away
April 13, 2016
When we moved to TX years ago we bought a mountain laurel so we could have the beautiful purple flowers and were disappointed when the flowers every year were white (with a few purple ones here and th...
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Why doesn't my Rusty blackhead bloom?
April 10, 2016
I have planted Rusty blackhaws the past several years..some bloomed the first year and every year since....and others 3 years old have not bloomed yet... Do all Rusty blackhaws bloom eventually or ...
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Red bugs have appeared on my Texas mountain laurel
April 10, 2016
What should I do about the red bugs on my mountain laurel?
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Large, fast-growing shade tree for Val Verde County, Texas
April 03, 2016
What is an overall good shade tree, very large & fast growing, to plant in Central South Texas, Val Verde County region? I am told that virtually nothing but Live Oaks or some other type of Oak will ...
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Status of Texas Olive tree in Katy, TX
March 30, 2016
I have a Texas Olive tree and it has very few leaves. Is this normal?
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Need to identify Cherry laurel varietyin Bee Caves, TX
March 29, 2016
I recently had cherry laurels installed in my yard for privacy. Unfortunately, the landscaper does not know what type of cherry laurel they are. The tag from the tree says Che-Com which to me might in...
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What plant looks like poisonous water hemlock
March 28, 2016
I thought that hemlock was a tree. I grew up in Carmel Valley, CA. As a kid we used to play in fields that looks just like this stuff. Some were over six feet and an inch around. In summer we pulled ...
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mixed species privacy hedge in Central Texas
March 24, 2016
I need to plant a privacy hedge along a fence line. I am in east Austin, blackland prairie soil. The soil is rich, usually at least moist but not soggy, and I find lots of worms when I dig. The fen...
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Caring for a wildflower meadow in Austin, TX.
March 22, 2016
We have a meadow full of wildflowers in the country, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, etc. What can we do to promote continued growth and is there a certain time of year we should mow? Should we fe...
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Tree with blue berries in Los Angeles, CA
March 22, 2016
There's a tree outside my house with somewhat thin and short spiky leaves with blue berries. The berries Some of the berries have a frost look and some are dark blue.
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Identity of stinging weed in Pearl, Mississippi
March 20, 2016
I live in Pearl, MS. Yesterday I pulled a weed that right away started stinging my hand and in a few hours turned into stinging numbness. The weed has dark green heart shaped leaves with purple veins ...
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Ground cover plants for a shady North Carolina yard
March 20, 2016
Ground cover erosion control for heavily shaded area in Cary, North Carolina. Current landscapers use strong blowers for leaf control. This blows away any seeds, loose soil and mulch. Tree roots ar...
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How much shade will Thunder Turf (Habiturf) take?
March 20, 2016
How much shade will Thunder Turf take?
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Identity of fast growing vine in San Francisco
March 20, 2016
Really need to know what kind of vine is growing rapidly in the garden. Can't find out in plant identification: started to grow profusely after rainfall. Grows at rate of 6-8" per day (!). Has ivy-l...
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killing clover in Bandera
March 19, 2016
How may one kill clover while not killing native wild flowers in one's lawn?
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When to plant bluebonnets in Spicewood, TX
March 19, 2016
When is the best time to plant Bluebonnets and do you place seeds under the soil or just spread on top? Thank you
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Using Coffee Grounds under Live Oaks in Texas?
March 18, 2016
Can you add coffee grounds to live oak tree?
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Fast Growing Groundcovers for Long Island
March 18, 2016
Can you please suggest a few fast growing groundcovers suitable for the south shore of Long Island? The area is fairly sunny and dry.
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Shade and Drought Tolerant Plants for Idaho Shade
March 18, 2016
I am looking for plants native to Idaho and/or the surrounding region (zone 6 or 7) that would do well in full shade conditions (adjacent to the north side of our house) and meet several criteria: Max...
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When to Prune Desert Willow in Texas?
March 18, 2016
I just learned I should have pruned back my desert willows. It's early March in North Texas. Is it too late to prune now? They are not leafing out yet.
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Expanded Shale Availability in Austin Area
March 18, 2016
Where can you find expanded shale in bulk or bag in the Austin area?
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Planting a Willow Close to a Water Line
March 18, 2016
I have a postage stamp-sized front yard, with the water tap in the front 1/3. I believe the water line runs right through the middle of my pss-front yard. I REALLY wanted to plant a weeping willow t...
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Care of non-native plant
March 17, 2016
I have a plant that grows about 1' tall, looks sort of like a dracaena. The leaves grow off of a short stem and are yellowish (no green at all) with brilliant slashes of hot pink an red. It is georg...
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Identification of evergreen bush with red berries
March 17, 2016
I am a beekeeper and today I took some pictures of a bush about 8 ft. tall in my neighbors yard. My bees are all over the tiny white flowers. It appears to be an evergreen bush because it has foliag...
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Pachira aquatica loosing leaves.
March 17, 2016
We have an indoor money tree that is 20 feet tall, the leaves have started to turn brown and fall. We water twice a month and mist about the same. Can you opine what what we are doing wrong the plant ...
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Abutilon or Podocarpus Toxic to Dogs?
March 17, 2016
Are either of these plants toxic to dogs? Flowering maple or the Podocarpus henkelii shrub.
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Dwarf Form of Japanese Blueberry?
March 17, 2016
Is there a dwarf variety of Japanese blueberry that will grow in my area? Or is it so non-native that it's not in your category?
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White and Violet Flower in Missouri
March 17, 2016
When I was small I came into contact with a plant that gave me cold sweats, chills and hallucinations. All I remember was it bore a single flower with a little white and a lot of violet. It had a dark...
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Eastern Red Cedar Roots
March 17, 2016
Would an Eastern Red Cedar root system damage underground irrigation pipes?
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Native vine for fence on youth baseball field
March 15, 2016
Our community in Comanche, Texas would like to plant a native vine on the back fence of a youth baseball field. We have plans to plant an area of native grasses behind the fence, between the fence an...
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Information about mustang grapes
March 14, 2016
We live in the Driftwood area. There is a native vine that looks like Mustang grape but never produces. A friend who is native to this area called it rat vine. I miss my Mustang grape jelly. Is t...
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Removing Center Stem From Desert Spoon (Sotol) in Phoenix
March 11, 2016
I have a desert spoon. I hate the center stem. Can I remove the center stem without hurting the rest of the plant? And what is the best way to remove it? I looked for this answer in your questions bu...
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Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel
March 10, 2016
How do I get rid of lopidea on mountain laurel?
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Location of Elbow Bush and Gregg's Saddlebush at the Wildflower Center
March 10, 2016
I have twice looked for Forestiera pubescens (Elbow Plant) and Mortonia greggi (Gregg's Saddlebush) in your gardens and have been unable to find. I have looked on the trails as well. Would you be a...
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Native tree for Uvalde Texas
March 10, 2016
What Tree can grow in Uvalde Tx. Native type
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Ornamental grasses for North Carolina coastal region
March 09, 2016
What ornamental grasses will grow in pure sand and withstand salt-laden winds in zones 8 a and 8 b?
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Growing Loblolly Pine in Salado, Texas
March 09, 2016
I would like to plant a loblolly pine in Salado, Texas. Will these grow well here?
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Vine to attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds in Austin
March 09, 2016
We'd like suggestions for a climbing, flowering, butterfly/hummingbird friendly plant for our Austin, TX backyard!!
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Are Carolina jessamine flowers toxic to bees?
March 08, 2016
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I recently planted 15 yellow Carolina Jessamine bushes along our back fence. Our hope is that it will vine up into the fence and give us privacy. I went online...
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Where to find milkweeds and other butterfly favorites
March 07, 2016
Our neighborhood in San Antonio is planning a big Arbor Day celebration. One of the events will focus on Monarch Butterflies. We will be releasing some live ones in our park and will have a booth th...
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Growing Texas mountain laurel in a pot
March 07, 2016
I have a really good friend who Mom pass away just recently and they were the best of friends. She loved her mother dearly and did tons of stuff together. Recently I posted a picture of a Mountain L...
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Getting rid of Mexican Petunia in Chorpus Christi, TX
March 05, 2016
What is the best way to get rid of unwanted Mexican Petunia that keeps spreading to unwanted areas of my flower beds?
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Are Bluebonnet seeds still viable after storage for a year?
March 02, 2016
I bought a pouch of Bluebonnets a year ago and now found them and have to wait to Fall to plant. Too old? Start over in purchase?
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Does Possumhaw need full sun for a bountiful crop of berries?
March 02, 2016
I planted a possumhaw last year in a sunny location, however as the season changed the plant became shaded by a large Ashe juniper all through the winter. No berries this winter, but it is a young pla...
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Should flower stems of Texas mountain laurel be removed after they bloom?
March 02, 2016
Should I trim off the old flower stems from this years bloom on a Texas Mountain Laurel?
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Name of the yellow wildflowers that gave Amarillo, TX its name
March 01, 2016
What is the name of the yellow wildflowers that gave Amarillo, Texas, its name?
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Pruning Wax Myrtle trees & bushes
February 28, 2016
When is the best time of year to prune Wax Myrtle trees & bushes.
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A puppy's challenge in the ivy
February 23, 2016
ok.. so, heres the thing: my puppy &i often play with a frisbee toy in the yard (cuz the boy's got leaps!). however, it has become apparent that, simply put: i am a TERRIBLE frisbee player!! truly th...
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Ground covers for a shady spot in central Texas
February 23, 2016
I reside in Austin, Texas and need advice on my xeriscaping project. Portions of my front yard have always been a challenge to get grass to grow, so I have xeriscaped that area with Fairland Pink gran...
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Water-Wise Privacy Hedge for California
February 22, 2016
I would like recommendations for a privacy hedge that would grow at least 12 feet tall with non-invasive roots and hopefully water-wise in Los Angeles.
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Preventing Oak Galls
February 22, 2016
How do you prevent live oak galls? Do you have a solution? Many of our live oaks are infested with them.
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Rabbit-proof Plants for Florida Swimming Pool Area
February 22, 2016
I plan on planting white star jasmine and purple bocouilla plants around a south-facing swimming pool in Naples, Florida. I was told rabbits might eat them which we do have. Should I be concerned, and...
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Two Holly Cultivars for a Texas Front Landscape?
February 22, 2016
We are starting a new with our landscape. All existing 30-year-old plants are going to be removed. We would like a focal point at the front door area and are considering 'Savannah' or 'Nellie R. St...
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How to Control Poison Ivy
February 22, 2016
We have lots of Poison Ivy on a site we are clearing it is adjacent to a pond and children are around this area all the time. We are creating hiking paths. I have a lot of experience but I do not wan...
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Blackfoot Daisy care in Marble Falls TX
February 21, 2016
I've planted and killed a number of blackfoot daisy plants. I know it's a hardy plant that, once established needs little or no care. But what about getting them started? What care do they need f...
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