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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs?
February 21, 2016
Is Penstemon palmeri poisonous to dogs? I couldn't find in ASPA guide.
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Caterpillars on Milkweed in MA
January 23, 2016
I have found every year a black/red caterpillars on my milkweed. They eat everything! I have never been able to find out what they are or how to get rid of them.
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Pet Friendly Groundcovers for CA
January 23, 2016
I am looking for pet friendly, groundcover plants in San Jose, CA.
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Herbal properties of Dicentra formosa
January 23, 2016
I would like to get some information on the Dicentra formosa plant such as the benefits of the plant. Is it poisonous? Can it be infused in an oil?
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Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees?
January 18, 2016
Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees? I know the Siberian Iris is tolerant but the scientific names are not the same yet everything I read indicates that blue eyed grass is not in the g...
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Why do Turk's cap plants have such a variable growth habit?
December 10, 2015
In visiting the Family Garden at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center yesterday (10-21-15,) I admired a large bunch of Turks Cap that had more blooms than I had ever seen on Turks Cap, and I've loved that...
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Growing Chile Pequin Indoors
December 09, 2015
About a year ago I visited your page and as a result I planted 8 seeds in spring 2015 from a large Chile Pequin plant that came up wild in my Cedar Park home near Austin. The last harvest was late su...
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Choosing the right Coreopsis species for Tennessee
November 28, 2015
I live in Bristol Tennessee and have replaced most of my lawn with native plants. I have been trying to learn more about the Coreopsis genus. In TN, we have C. auriculata, grandiflora, lanceolata, m...
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Hillside Groundcovers for Pollinating Insects in Wisconsin
November 28, 2015
I am looking for native plants for a project around Hudson, Wisconsin. We are to choose native plants to be seeded next spring 2016. They are to be planted on a hillside under and around solar panels ...
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Shade, Heat, Drought and Acidic Soil Tolerant Perennials for Las Vegas?
November 28, 2015
What can I grow under my pine trees that is shade and heat (and acidity) tolerant? I live in Las Vegas, NV and would like perennials to plant under my pine trees.
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Erosion Control Shrubs and Groundcovers for Steep NY Wooded Slope
November 28, 2015
I need to cover a couple of very steep slopes in upstate New York that are partially wooded and near a brook. The slopes are about 130 feet back from the brook. Someone estimated that there is a coupl...
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What is blooming in NJ in Late November?
November 27, 2015
I am a beekeeper in Edison, NJ. My bees are still bringing pollen even this late in the season (Thanksgiving). What plants or trees are still blooming? The color of the pollen is a pale yellow.
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Identification of Verbesina occidentalis (Yellow crownbeard) in Burnet County TX
November 23, 2015
Looked up (small) yellow crownbeard..yellow, no description or pic. Csn you tell me if this is what is in this pic? THX! Can't insert a pic to say y/n. 😟it's in Burnet, Co..SE of Marble Fal...
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Should Mexican milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) not be used to attract Monarch butterflies?
November 20, 2015
Should I remove Asclepias curassavica (Mexican milkweed) in my garden for threat of OE parasitic protozoan threat to Monarch butterflies? Is this threat as widespread as Chronicle implies? I had great...
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Identification of Bidens aristosa (Tickseed sunflower) in Texas
November 20, 2015
I think the ID of the plant I submitted a description of yesterday is Tickseed Sunflower (Bidens aristosa). Thanks.
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Spriranthes sp. blooming on rocky hilltop
November 13, 2015
I am not sure if my previous question went thru, so I am submitting it again. How unusual is it to find a few blooming specimens of Spiranthes sp. on a rocky hilltop west of Loop 360 near Bee Caves R...
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Competition between peony and bulbs
November 06, 2015
I am planting 3 herbaceous peony bare roots 3 feet apart from each other. I am told it will take 3 years before I get blooms. In the meantime, can i safely plant springtime flowering bulbs in th...
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Improving Bluebonnet seed contact with soil
November 06, 2015
I have a five acre field in Blanco County, much of which is covered by bluebonnets. There are several species of native grasses as well. Would it be beneficial to disk or otherwise disturb the soil ...
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Ground cover for a Texas dog run
November 02, 2015
What ground cover do you recommend for a residential dog run located under a pergola in high limestone soil at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas?
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Straggler Daisy as a Groundcover in Salado, TX
October 30, 2015
I've identified Straggler Daisy or Horseherb as the plant to cover my 20 x 40 partly shady partly sunny lot. Could you provide me with the best method for starting and growing the plant to ensure it ...
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What is the black stuff growing on my thoroughwort?
October 27, 2015
What is the black stuff on my thoroughwort plant's leaves that is killing the plant?
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Making a raised garden bed in Texas
October 25, 2015
I just bought a house in Ft Worth Texas and the soil is undisturbed red clay. I was told I probably would need to build a raised bed to make a 25 ft by 4-6 ft butterfly/humming bird/bee native flower ...
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Wildflowers to complement Mexican hat in Texas
October 22, 2015
We have 10 acres in Driftwood that has Mexican Hat pretty much everywhere that is not shaded. We are looking to add additional wildflowers to them in order to have color earlier and later in the seas...
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Creekside Groundcover for Upstate New York
October 22, 2015
I live in Upstate New York in Rochester. Our winters can have lows of -10 at night at times. I have 1,300 linear feet of creekside land that seniors can view from their homes. Because of the brush, it...
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Food Allergy to Beautyberry or Persimmon?
October 22, 2015
I think I might have a food allergy to Beautyberry or American Persimmon, eaten Saturday at the North Carolina Great Dismal park. These were the only strange foods recently, though I've had persimmo...
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Is Iva Angustifolia Salt Tolerant?
October 22, 2015
I was wondering about the salt tolerance of narrow-leaf sumpweed (Iva angustifolia). It is the predominant species on a disturbed site in Haynesville, LA where brine contamination is in question. Un...
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Indoor and Outdoor, Fast Growing Plants for California
October 22, 2015
Iím looking for the best plants for me. I have small kids so they would have to be safe. I would like them to be able to grow inside or outside. I would love for them to grow fast and reproduce fast.
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Finding a source of Straggler daisy
October 14, 2015
I've decided on Straggler daisy but am having trouble finding it. It would be perfect for me. Do I have to wait until next Spring for it to show up? Can it be ordered through a nursery or a landscape...
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Evergreen for sunny, dry area under a maple in Connecticut
October 10, 2015
I have a sloped, very sunny, dry area under a maple. I was wondering if Sweet Fern would be a likely candidate for this area. I would like it to be evergreen and to be able to survive under mounds of...
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Does Calyptocarpus vialis (Horseherb) compete with turf grasses
October 05, 2015
For my yard in central Austin Does horse herb, Calyptocarpus vialis help or damage the growth of native short grasses? The grasses include Curly Mesquite and Blue Gamma planted early in the spring or...
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Low, Easy Care Perennials for Lake Ontario Shore Planting
October 04, 2015
I'm on Lake Ontario in New York. I have a lake bank slope, thatís about 1/8 mile long and about 40 feet high, and is on about a 40 degree angle. It is very hard to keep clear. The bank has just been ...
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What are the Native Dianthus?
October 03, 2015
What species of Dianthus is native to North America?
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Overwintering Ruellia brittoniana in Missouri
October 03, 2015
I live in Missouri and have five beautiful Mexican Petunia or Ruellia brittoniana planted and established in my landscaping. With winter fast approaching, I would love advise on how to winterize the p...
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How to Deal with Leggy Artemisia 'Silver Mound'
October 03, 2015
I have two Artemisia (I think 'Silver Mound') in full sun in West Austin. They have been happily growing there for the past 10 or so years. Both were hard-hit by last winter's cold weather and did...
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Invasiveness of Oenothera speciosa?
October 02, 2015
Hello! I received a large package of Oenothera speciosa seeds and would like to plant them this month. I've read elsewhere that they can choke out out other plants and am wondering to what degree thi...
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Sources for Eustoma exaltatum (Texas bluebells)
October 01, 2015
Could you list sources for seeds for eustoma (texas bluebells)?
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Plants for Georgetown with shade in the AM and sun in the PM
September 30, 2015
Hi, I live in Georgetown and I would like a recommendation for plants (shrubs and flowering perennials) that can handle deep shade until 1 or 2 pm and then have full sun blasting them til sun down. T...
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Native plant for border in central coastal Texas
September 29, 2015
I am looking for a native plant suggestion for a border along my front porch in central coastal Texas. My site has heavy gumbo soil and strong sunlight. I want something not more than 2 or 3 feet t...
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Low Groundcovers for Pennsylvania
September 18, 2015
Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a low growing grass or ground cover for an area that is between my neighbors horse fence and mine it is about 2 feet wide 30 ft long. It is impossible to mow and ...
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Will Convallaria majuscula grow in Texas?
September 10, 2015
Can I transplant Convallaria majuscula, American lily-of-the-valley I originally brought from northern Wisconsin a few years back to the Chicago area to my new home in Buda Texas?
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Urushiol Oil Persistance?
September 09, 2015
I'm trekking into poison ivy infested areas for work every other day. I make sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and long socks over my pants. I walk into my office to drop off supplies and...
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Wildflowers for an Indiana septic drain field
August 29, 2015
We just had to have a septic system replaced due to our state highway consuming some of our front yard along with our original septic. Since this has happened, our lateral lines now lie in our back ya...
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Need suggestions for plants for bioswales in Philadelphia, PA
August 24, 2015
Hello, Are there a handful of species you would recommend for inclusion in bioswales throughout the US? I realize plants need to be selected based on climate, but I'm wondering if there are two or...
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Erosion controlling plants for a shady Minnesota lakeside
August 11, 2015
I live about 50 yards from a lake and there is a steep embankment. Recently someone decided to cut the trees off the embankment and now the dirt is eroding off the embankment as well as off my back ya...
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Pest Dug Up and Ate Hypoxis Corms
August 06, 2015
After years of no problems, something recently dug up and ate all my Yellow star-grass corms. What is attracted to them and is there an organic way to prevent it?
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Where to find Horseherb seed
August 02, 2015
I would like to purchase some Horseherb seeds. Can you tell me where I can do that? Either locally or on line. Thank you.
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Growing Green milkweed vine from seed
July 29, 2015
I was given some seed for the pearl milkweed vine which I intend to plant, but I can find no information on whether to stratify or scarify them or just plant them. I know some milkweeds require strati...
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Why Don't Phlox Bloom?
July 26, 2015
My summer phlox only bush up but never bloom. They are in full sun.
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Stopping erosion on bank of a Florida retention pond
July 21, 2015
I live on a retention pond, which has had all vegetation killed by the lake doctor. As a result the bank has eroded so there is a drop off directly to the water rather than a sloping bank. What plan...
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Propagation of Blackfoot daisy seed
July 21, 2015
I have a three yr old Blackfoot daisy. How do you root Blackfoot daisy seeds? When is the best month to grow these seeds?
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Drought-Tolerant Plants for Arizona
July 16, 2015
Slowly turning south-facing lawn to drought-tolerant plantings with gravel paths. Mature Ponderosa and several blue spruce and junipers surround area. Grass area I'm converting with a few larger tr...
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Need plants to fill in spaces where wooden expansion joints were removed in a patio in Seguin, TX
July 11, 2015
I have removed the rotted wood in the expansion joints in my patio. I would prefer replacing them with some sort of plant. The patio gets partial sunlight.
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Growing Alopia drummondii from Seed
July 09, 2015
Can you give me information about, or a resource for, growing Alophia drummondii (propeller plant) from seed? I have the seed but don't know when & the best method for planting?
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Pollinator friendly lawn for Longmont CO
July 06, 2015
I have a sunny, treeless, South-facing yard, with a slight South-facing slope in Boulder County, CO. It has one patch of buffalo grass, but is more then half some other type of grass. I would like t...
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Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
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Milky Substance on Salvia greggii
June 26, 2015
The Salvia greggii that I have in the front yard has a milky substance on it ... and the plants are not doing well. Is this some kind of fungi or disease? What can I do to "cure" it? Thank you! Lia...
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Butterfly and Pollinator Plants for Indianapolis Garden
June 23, 2015
I live in Indianapolis, IN and would like to have a native garden. I'd be especially interested in plants that help butterflies and bumble bees. There's a fairly dry area on the west side of the hou...
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Native Plant for Containers in Delaware
June 23, 2015
I live on the East Coast. I have a large covered porch that only gets some afternoon sun. I have tried full sun, partial sun and shade plants, and had no luck with them thriving. Can you recommend any...
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Native Texas Plants for SC
June 22, 2015
I just visited your beautiful facility for the first time and loved it! I'm planning to move to Charleston, SC and would love to replicate some of the wildflower and walkway areas I saw. Would the fo...
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Container Plants for Lubbock, Texas
June 22, 2015
Hello! I am looking for plants suitable for container gardening for a west facing porch in Lubbock. Plants need to be super tough to endure the baking sun, constant wind, dry air, extreme temperatures...
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Evergreen perennials for a pond bank in Texas
June 18, 2015
We want evergreen perennial plants for the banks of our small pond. The banks are eroding and we need to help keep them strong. We have ducks in the pond and lots of turtles. We would love something ...
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Pollinators for Palm Springs, CA
June 18, 2015
Just moved to Palm Springs, California. Hot and dry, desert region. What bee and pollinator-friendly plants would do well with full afternoon sun?
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Poolside plants for East Texas
June 18, 2015
What are the best plants, shrubs, ornamental trees, etc. for poolside planting in East Texas?
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A blue-eyed grass with salmon-colored blooms?
June 16, 2015
Has anyone heard of a blue-eyed grass variety that has salmon-colored blooms? I have a photo if needed.
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Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
June 16, 2015
TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
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Aquatic Plants for a Small Pond in Missouri
June 11, 2015
We have a small backyard pond (4' x 5' x 2' deep) with a shelf for marginal plants, and a pump that feeds a nice little creek and waterfall into the pond. We don't really want fish, but we'd lik...
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Is Evolvulus nuttallianus native to Central Texas and Deer Resistant?
June 11, 2015
The website doesn't have much information about blue daze (Evolvulus nuttallianus. Is this plant native to Central Texas? Is it deer-resistant?
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Is Canna glauca invasive?
June 10, 2015
How aggressive is Canna glauca? I'm interested in planting one near a gutter downspout, but I'm afraid it will crowd out groundcovers (heartleaf skullcap and fall obedient plant) in the two location...
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Why does newly transplanted Brazos Penstemon look bad
June 09, 2015
I bought Brazos penstemon from a nursery as well as several other drought resistant plants. I have noticed new buds on the salvia and blanket flower and changes in leaf color on the kaleidoscope, but...
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Why is fall the best time to plant Bluebonnet seeds?
May 29, 2015
Bluebonnet plants drop their seeds in late May or early June. Why is it recommended to broadcast Bluebonnet seeds in October which is 5 months after the plant drops its seeds?
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Failure of TX bluebonnets to thrive
May 28, 2015
We have had extraordinary luck with bluebonnets growing in our driveway of decomposed granite--until last year and this year. The bluebonnets seem to be drying up and wilting away. The ones in other a...
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Will the
May 27, 2015
I'm becoming interested in rain gardens, and although Silphium perfoliatum does not appear to be a host for butterfly caterpillars and like most of the "giant tall grass prairie daisies" may be a b...
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Looking for plants for phytoremediation in Columbus, TX
May 27, 2015
Hello! I am looking for native Texan phytodegrading/rhizodegrading plants (basically I want phytoremediating plants that could be left in place and not have to be removed/disposed of after they had ta...
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Indian Paintbrush outnumbering our Bluebonnets this year.
May 26, 2015
We noticed we have more Indian paintbrush than bluebonnets in our front yard this year. Our issue is we also have more spear grass than normal. Is there a way to control this grass without killing th...
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How to eliminate roadside thistles
May 26, 2015
When we drive along the highway we see lots of wildflowers and no thistles in the median. How does the Highway Department keep the thistles out? Here in Kerrville, we are overwhelmed by thistles thi...
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Wildflowers in Bloom in Hudson Valley NY in July
May 19, 2015
We are hosting a rustic wedding on July 11, and we would like to decorate with wildflowers. We live in rural NY state, in the Mid-Hudson Valley, and there are many sites from which to pick wildflowers...
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How to protect Columbine plants from Texas sun
May 12, 2015
I planted some Red columbine seeds in October of last year and they are now doing well, roughly 6-inches tall. I believed I was planting them in mostly shade at the time; that area now seems to get 6+...
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Weeds from neighbor's yard are a problem.
May 11, 2015
Our neighbor has let his front yard go wild. Many of these native wild plants are very invasive. How can I stop their spreading into our yard? There are too many to try & keep up with pulling them as ...
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What to do about bastard cabbage in the Austin area?
May 08, 2015
I am noticing bastard cabbage taking over roadsides and medians at an alarming rate where a mixture of native flowers used to bloom. Is it allowable to organize efforts to pull the invasive plants ou...
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Can bluebonnet pods be gathered when green in Lockhart, TX
May 02, 2015
Can bluebonnet seed pods be gathered when green? Will the seed be capable of germinating next season?
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What about the Bluebonnets at Muleshoe Bend Recreational Area in Spicewood, TX ?
April 27, 2015
We had heard about vast field of bluebonnets out at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area - an LCRA park in Spicewood. We went out today and there are indeed vast fields . . . all where Lake Travis would be ...
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