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

Tuesday - August 31, 2004

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native, hybrid petunias
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

I have a beautiful Petunia Tiny Tunia Violet plant which has been flowering nicely (in sun and shade environment). Suddenly, a few days ago, it began to look like it's dying--stalks all dried out. Is this normal? I have kept it moist. Should I cut it back and will it bloom next year? It is a perennial, isn't it?

ANSWER:

Hybrid garden petunias should be watered regularly, placed in well-draining, compost enriched soil. The plant may be responding to too much water; stem die-back like you have described is the result of a vascular problem, resulting from roots drying out from too little water, or root rot from too much water. The roots may also be affected by a soil fungal pathogen. If the roots die, then there is no nutrient and water delivery to the stems/vegetative tissue, causing the vegetative tissue to die. If the soil is remaining moist, allow the soil to dry out a bit and water sparingly. You may have to propagate vegetatively if the plant is in continual decline. You can reference this website for more information about petunia horticulture.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Fungus on trunk of non-native weeping willow in California
August 21, 2008 - I live in Palo Cedro, CA and have a weeping willow tree with with what appears to be be some type of fungus growing all over the trunk of the tree. It is a brown color and can be broken off in big ch...
view the full question and answer

Ants in vegetable garden in Muskogee OK
May 25, 2011 - I have ants in my vegetable garden this spring - I think because of all the rain. I think they are the culprits that ruined my spinach and swiss chard. They have left all the lettuces alone..but you...
view the full question and answer

Bark splitting on non-native Royal Poinciana in tree in Merritt Island FL
August 10, 2010 - Information on splitting bark along the branches like an overstuffed sausage: A royal Poinciana tree, about 5 years old. The upper branches are doing this, although I'm afraid little splits or tear...
view the full question and answer

Reblooming Potted Iris
June 12, 2014 - I have a pot of iris bulbs that are giving me just a bunch of leaves this year. Last year I had wonderful big blooms. Any suggestions about what I could do to get some flowers?
view the full question and answer

Non-native purple lantana
January 05, 2008 - I have found some purple trailing lantana on our land. (This land has never been inhabited, as far as I know of.) This is not one of the yellow/pink or yellow/red native varieties. Is this indeed a...
view the full question and answer

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