En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 24, 2014

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Shrubs
Title: Spring care for Garrya ovata from Pflugerville, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello again, Mr. S-P, I planted a Mexican silktassel in April 2012 (purchased at the WFC). It has done well, but the leaves are bronzed and splotchy from this winter's freezes. All the stems are alive. Should I do anything to help the plant, such as trimming it back a bit, or will it simply drop its leaves and grow new ones? It's about 3 feet tall.

ANSWER:

Follow this plant link, Garrya ovata (Eggleaf silktassel), to our webpage on this plant to check that the plant is in sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) or part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun). It will be okay in part shade but will bloom better and be more bushy in full sun. Here is another article from the Texas A&M Texas Native Plant Database on Silktassel.

This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that it is native to our part of Central Texas, but you knew that, of course, because the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Sales only sell plants that are native to Central Texas. Our take on pruning is that this is a very young specimen and sounds like it is doing well. Since this tree is evergreen, it probably would be better to let the few yellowing leaves drop off naturally, and wait another season before thinking about a little pruning for shape. We are always glad to hear about our "babies" after they leave the Plant Sales.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eggleaf silktassel
Garrya ovata

More Pruning Questions

Tidying up Copper Canyon Daisies in San Antonio
March 30, 2010 - We have a small bed with 4 copper canyon daisies. We cut them back in the fall but have not pruned them during growing season; as a result they become a big tangle by September. Should they be pruned ...
view the full question and answer

Removing a non-native windmill palm from Austin
February 27, 2013 - I have a fairly good size windmill palm (about 15ft high) that is planted too close to the house. I also don't like having to constantly remove its fronds as they block a walkway. Is there a good wa...
view the full question and answer

Rose care for Austin
August 18, 2013 - I am a transplant from the Pacific NW and need to relearn rose care for Austin. When is the best time to cut back the roses, or do I even bother? I also need to find out how far back I can trimming a...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves not dropping from Austin
April 29, 2014 - We had a 65 gallon live oak planted last October. We watered it regularly and it was green all through the winter. In March the leaves started to turn brown but never dropped, as they should have. ...
view the full question and answer

Tool for removing live oak root shoots in Gonzales TX
August 09, 2010 - I've read your answer to live oak root shoots. You said to get rid of them by going 2 to 4 inches below the surface and cutting them. What tool is best for this shoot removal? I'm getting very tir...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center