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

Recovery of damaged fuchsia plant in hanging basket
July 23, 2007 - I had a beautiful fuchsia plant hanging on my porch. The hanger gave way and the plant fell straight down into another flower bed. The fuchsia seemed ok. I put it back in the pot put up new strong ...
view the full question and answer

Red poppies to bloom in November from Round Rock TX
June 08, 2014 - Hi, I want to plant poppy seed so that they bloom in November for Veterans and Remembrance Day. Can you offer any guidance? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Non-native Senna corymbosa
September 28, 2008 - I have a large Texas Senna tree - at least 7'x8'. It is covered in beautiful yellow blooms; however, it will need to be pruned in the winter. Please let me know how much to prune it and when is th...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native, invasive Bauhinia variegata
March 03, 2006 - I live in Fellsmere just south of Melbourne and we have about 5 orchid trees on our property; one is fairly tall, about 20 ft, and the others are about 6 ft tall. My smaller ones have several air p...
view the full question and answer

Conflict between non-native and invasive St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses
July 21, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My neighbor and I have nice front lawns but his is St. Augustine and mine is Bermuda. Between our houses the two lawns meet and it is a constant battle to keep his St. Augustine...
view the full question and answer

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