En Español

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 Transplants Questions

Lantana isn't blooming in Leander, TX.
August 03, 2011 - I bought a small potted New Gold Lantana about 2-1/2 weeks ago. I planted it in full sun and covered it with mulch. The few original flowers have fallen off. Although, I see a couple of new buds, ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Esperanza in Abilene TX
November 03, 2012 - I have 3 beautiful Gold Star Esperanzas that are too large and need to be transplanted. How can I do this and what time of year. They are five years old and always return in the spring.
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of pecan trees in Las Vegas NV
October 11, 2009 - In April this year I purchased two 8-foot tall pecan trees in 3-foot square boxes from a local nursery and planted them here in Southern Nevada. I'm sure I dug a large enough hole to provide plenty ...
view the full question and answer

Turks cap not blooming in Austin
June 03, 2008 - Why is my Turks Cap not blooming? It gets about an hour of sun in the morning, then shade for the rest of the day. It gets watered with the sprinkler system that waters our lawn.
view the full question and answer

Trimming back Agave havardiana
June 05, 2008 - Hi.. thanks for all the great information on Agaves. We have a number of Agave Havardiana (blue) that love where we planted them. Several have gotten HUGE. So much so that they are starting to ge...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center