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

Friday - July 27, 2007

From: Ventura, CA
Region: California
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Overwatering and fertilization of whiteleaf manzanita
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I have an Arctostaphylos Dr. Hurd, southern California coast, several years old, 10 feet, that has a few large branches with yellowing and spotted leaves... also dropping many. causes? remedy? should branches be cut out?

ANSWER:

Arctostaphylos manzanita (whiteleaf manzanita) is a wonderful shrub or small tree, native in the U.S. only to California. Apparently the "Dr. Hurd" cultivar is the result of hybridization. We were unable to locate any specific references to what might be causing problems for your plant. Some clues we turned up include that it is very drought tolerant and much more garden tolerant in Southern California; that is, it can stand some of the special treatment you will give a garden plant. However, it does not tolerate too much watering, nor water standing around its roots. It needs good drainage so much that it will even do okay in beach sand, but not in salt spray. The cultivar Dr. Hurd also needs full sun, while some of the other manzanita varieties can tolerate some light or partial shade.

If you have not observed any insect infestation, and there has been no disturbance, such as construction or planting, around the roots, our best guess is that you have been treating your manzanita TOO well, watering, fertilizing, etc. as you would do other plants in your garden. Native plants are very tough, which is why we at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center are so dedicated to their use and conservation. Natives are adapted to the conditions in which they originate, and need less of the kind of attention usually given to plants in the garden. The yellowing leaves, in particular, might lead us to suspect too much water or not good enough drainage. Certainly, don't cut out any branches that are not provably dead. Unfortunately, we can't write a prescription for a medicine that will make your plant all well, so we'll recommend watchful waiting, cut off the sprinkler system if you have one aimed at the plant, and hope its own native strengths will pull it through.

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Damage from feral hogs
September 30, 2009 - Hello. What extent of damage can be expected when planting wildflower seeds in an area regularly visited by feral hogs? In some cases do the hogs actually help plant the seed as they root around? ...
view the full question and answer

Saprophytic fungus on mulch
June 22, 2007 - I just did some major landscaping in my west Austin, TX backyard. I added many native plants and mulched all of the new beds. I did this just before the heavy rains in the past two weeks. I now not...
view the full question and answer

Care of Jade plant
September 06, 2007 - Hi there, I have a question and really appreciate your time helping me regarding my plant. I bought a Jade plant; 35 yr. old ; very thick stems and healthy at the time of purchase from a very si...
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

Leaf problems on Cherry Laurel in Boulder City, NV
January 29, 2011 - I live in Boulder City, Nevada and have 4 cherry laurel trees. I'm having a hard time with brown leaves and loss of leaves. How much water should I give them each season? Temps run from 28 degrees to...
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