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
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


Purple prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

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

Failure to bloom of Campsis radicans in Elkins WV
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in a very cool climate of West Virginia, in the mountains, and it seems impossible for our Campsis radicans vines to flower! Perhaps the growing season is too short? W...
view the full question and answer

Will mowing live oak seedlings contribute to Oak Wilt from Dripping Springs TX
June 14, 2011 - I live near Drippings Springs, TX. Will mowing live oak seedlings contribute to the spread of oak wilt?
view the full question and answer

Arizona ash tree with brown leaf tips in Las Vegas NV
August 01, 2010 - We've had an Arizona Ash Tree in our yard for over 7 years it was doing fine until last summer, the tree seems to be struggling with the heat, its leaves look like they are burning up and turning bro...
view the full question and answer

Redbud leaves turning yellow in mid-summer
July 13, 2012 - The leaves on our redbud trees are turning yellow. The yellow leaves are pale with no other spots and no dark veins. I don't know for sure which variety of redbud they are or how old they are (more t...
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