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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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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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topicquestion
What to do about cold damage to spineless prickly pear?
March 05, 2010
In Austin, Texas our 'spineless' prickly pear cactus is about 6' wide by 4' tall. In the last severe freeze, the top half flattened out and has remained that way. Should I cut the flattened pads o...
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Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
February 23, 2010
When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
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Damage to plants after sudden freeze in Redway CA
January 02, 2010
I live on the North Coast of California near "The Avenue of the Giants" and Redwoods State Park along the Eel River. We recently have had below freezing weather, constant rain and even snow! I have...
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Cutting back woody plants after freeze in Leander TX
December 10, 2009
I have several woody shrubs in a prominent location. Now that the leaves have frozen, how far back should I cut them? These are Flame Acanthus, Salvia ballotiflora, and Aloysia macrostachya, but I w...
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Freeze damage to esperanza in pot from Brady TX
December 10, 2009
My esperanza, currently in a container, has suffered some freeze damage. I have prepared a planting spot for it and am not sure whether to plant now, trim it back if I do plant it, etc. I would appr...
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Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009
Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
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Overwintering Cardinal Flower in Thornwood NY
October 01, 2009
I have 6 Cardinal Flower plants in planters. They have mulch on top to keep them moist. Can they stay in the planters all winter? Do I cut the stalks before winter comes or leave as is?
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Yucca elata flowering in Tauranga, NZ.
August 20, 2009
I have two huuuuuuge Yucca elatas in my garden. One of them flowered spectacularly last year - a 15ft stalk that grew so quickly you could hear it, and then burst into a cloud of waxy cream flowers. M...
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Rainfall for Central Texas
July 20, 2009
What dance will produce abundant rainfall in Central Texas?
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Transplant time for Virginia Beach, VA
July 08, 2009
I have a friend who is not a gardener but lives on a piece of property that has a gorgeous back yard with lots of plants, shrubs and trees that are becoming overgrown. I have her permission to dig up...
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