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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Monday - August 20, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Watering
Title: Transplant shock in Texas natives garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I thought that my new Texas Natives garden was recuperating from ALL the rain. But, suddenly, my Texas Red Bud and the Eve's Necklace next to it have MANY yellow leaves. Is there anything I can apply to them or to their soil to help them? I'm thinking it's an imbalance due to the excess water, right? The garden was professionally planted by people who know natives, so they do seem to have proper drainage, etc., and their soil covered by decomposed granite. Advice?

ANSWER:

You don't say how long ago your natives were installed in your garden. If it has only been a couple of months or so, they may be suffering from transplant shock—the shock of moving from a container to your garden soil. Moving the plants usually causes some damage to the root system no matter how carefully it is done. Even though we did have lots of rain, now that it's stopped your plants may be feeling the results of transplant shock and they may still need regular watering, especially in the heat, until they are well-established.

By the way, it's "Smarty Plants"!

 

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