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

Thursday - July 08, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Possibility of root rot in Praire flame-leaf sumac
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

I bought a prairie sumac two years ago and it was fine until recently when we had a lot of rain in Austin. Now the leaves are all brown and it appears to be dying. Is there something I can do? I really like this native tree/shrub.

ANSWER:

Prairie flame-leaf sumac, botanical name: Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac) produces underground stems, giving the appearance of another sumac growing inches to feet away from the main plant. The kind of decline that you are describing sounds indicative of a vascular problems that are due to saturated soils. You may have extensive root rot, which is a little tricky to try and ameliorate once it begins. Given that the plant is prone to sucker readily, you could try digging up the plant (caveat: if it is possible to do so) and transferring it to a pot with well-draining media. I do not recommend applying a fungicide to this plant as it is already stressed from improper oxygen exchange in the root zone. Don't keep the media saturated; rather, be careful and purposeful in your watering if you transplant to a pot, and initially keep the plant out of direct sunlight. Regardless, it might be a good idea to "move" the plant to another well-draining location to avoid decline in times of water saturation.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie flameleaf sumac
Rhus lanceolata

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for East Texas that require no mowing or watering
June 16, 2010 - What native grass can I grow in deep East Texas that would require no supplemental watering and no mowing?
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

Questions on non-native St. Augustine from Austin
October 15, 2013 - I have St. Augustine grass in my yard. I am having work done in my yard soon, which will require new sod. I know the St. Augustine has to take root in the ground before the first freeze, to assure t...
view the full question and answer

Planting from pots in summer in Austin
July 01, 2009 - It's the last week in June and temperatures are going to be at 100 or more all week. I've some plants that I'm wondering about transplanting to an exposed site in this heat: muhlenbergeria lindheim...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Laredo Texas
July 04, 2011 - I am in Laredo, TX and no longer want to waste water on grass. I would like to pull it all out and plant native, drought resistant ground cover - low growing, between 6-12 inches, sun and partial sha...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center