Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

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 Shrubs Questions

Roots of Savannah Holly close to house
February 26, 2009 - I live in Sugar Land and want to plant Savannah Holly at the ends of both sides of the front flowerbed. Are the roots too dangerous to plant so close to the house? (How far from the house should they...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping a Fence with Native Plants for Central Texas
March 08, 2013 - I'm looking to landscape my fence that I've lined with woven bamboo. The area gets the hot afternoon sun in summer and is pretty shady in winter. The plants need to be drought and heat tolerant. I'...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcovers for NE NC
April 20, 2015 - Can you please provide a list of evergreen native groundcovers for Northeastern NC?
view the full question and answer

Low cost, low maintenance, water tolerants native plants for New Jersey
February 25, 2006 - I am planning a bed around my deck which will include shrubs and flowers. I am looking for plants that require a lot of water due to the wet soil conditions and poor drainage in my yard. Do you have...
view the full question and answer

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.