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
1 rating

Monday - July 23, 2007

From: Parker, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplant shock in Dakota mock vervain
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We just planted some Verbena bipinnatifida in our back yard and when we planted it, it had purple flowers on it but now they've all dried up. We live in central Colorado and thought this plant was fairly drought tolerant. We do water it a few times a week but we're afraid it may have died. Can you shed some light on why the flowers may have dried up?

ANSWER:

I believe the verbena you are referring to is Glandularia bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain), also called prairie verbena or Dakota vervain. It is native to many states, including Colorado, and adapted to higher elevations and cooler temperatures. It is a pretty drought tolerant perennial, but the ground should not be allowed to completely dry out. It has a long blooming season, and will bloom out even more in the Fall.

The first cause of your flower loss that leaps to mind is transplant shock. Even in a cooler climate like Colorado, mid-summer transplanting is hard on plants. Always trim off any dead blossoms, and certainly any leaves that appear dried up. Pruning some of the top growth at the time of transplanting to reduce stress to the plant is almost always advised. Given some recovery time, and perhaps cooler weather, it should rise and bloom again.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Need plants to grow between flagstones in Vista, CA.
February 06, 2012 - Hi, I have put in a flagstone patio set in DG. The DG is creating a very sandy messy surface on the flagstone, so want to plant a low ground cover between the joints. Its a fairly large area, in sun...
view the full question and answer

Habitats of pitcher plants
October 16, 2005 - Where do pitcher plants live?
view the full question and answer

Stubs of Texas Star Hibiscus in Abilene, TX
March 26, 2009 - We have cut back our outdoor Texas Star Hibiscus for 4 years and now have a large number of old stubs that the new growth must navigate around. Will it kill the plant if we dig up the old stubs? At so...
view the full question and answer

Rubber (latex) in Balloon plant (Asclepias physocarpa)
February 09, 2008 - I need milkweed leaves that contain rubber. The common milkweed species Asclepias syriaca has rubber in it. Do the milkweed of Balloon plant milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa) contain rubber?
view the full question and answer

Low, Easy Care Perennials for Lake Ontario Shore Planting
October 04, 2015 - I'm on Lake Ontario in New York. I have a lake bank slope, thatís about 1/8 mile long and about 40 feet high, and is on about a 40 degree angle. It is very hard to keep clear. The bank has just been ...
view the full question and answer

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