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?


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

Sunday - June 08, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we pulled one of them and the roots seemed very much alive, but the above-ground wood was clearly dead. Why?


Tagetes lemmonii  (Copper Canyon Daisy) is not listed in our Native Plant Database. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows it (with the plant code TALE) growing natively in Arizona. Searching the Internet on "Copper Canyon Daisy" we found this site from the Native Plant Society of Texas.

From that website, we noted this information:

"Commonly, Copper Canyon daisy blooms in both spring and fall. The main flowering period, however, is in late fall."

Just taking a guess, we are thinking that perhaps with the late severe cold snaps we had in Austin, that perhaps the upper part of the plant froze. The roots were protected by the warmth of the Earth, and just hadn't gotten around to pumping sap with nutrition and moisture up into the visible part of the plant. Plants will do that to protect themselves; if the roots freeze, the plant will die because it can no longer get that transfusion of nutrients that the roots have been saving for it. You did the right thing to trim off the upper part in the Fall last year but just jumped the gun a little this year expecting upper-plant growth.

From Floridata, here is more information on the reaction of this plant to cold weather.


More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
April 02, 2012 - Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels...
view the full question and answer

Recently planted Monterey Oaks doing poorly in Jourdanton, TX.
September 02, 2013 - We planted 2 nice size Monterrey oak trees in April .they were doing good with new growth on them. But now I have been noticing the leaves are turning brown around the edges. We water about once a wee...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Ash drooping?
June 22, 2009 - Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are we...
view the full question and answer

Bark damage to Tulip Tree
August 10, 2006 - I have a tulip tree planted. It is about 9-10 years old. Two years ago the tree looked as though the trunk was cracked. Maybe hit by lightning after a storm. This year the bark on the side of tree...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of palm tree leaves
May 14, 2008 - I want to know about palm trees. The leaves are turning yellow.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center