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
3 ratings

Monday - May 19, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Transplant shock for non-native Plumbago auriculata
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted some full plumbago plants that were in containers, in a partially shaded area, they had beautiful flowers when I purchased them, but have since lost them all and the plant is looking very wilted. I watered it at first and then it rained off and on for a few days, but I heard that plumbagos like to be left alone, what gives?

ANSWER:

The first thing we thought of when you described your plant problems was transplant shock. Especially when you buy plants that have already put so much energy into blooming, you need to give them extra tender loving care, maybe for months. Since this plant is a native of South Africa, it does not appear in our Native Plant Database, but we found an article on Plumbago auriculata on a Floridata website. From this article we learned that the plant prefers light sandy soil, need full sunshine, and is considered a subtropical. We would suggest that you first trim away about a third of the upper structure of the plant, including dead flowers. They may very well bloom again this year, but right now they need a rest and you need to save the plant the struggle of getting water up to those top branches. Now, stick a hose into the hole and dribble water, very gently, into the hole until water shows on the surface. If it doesn't drain away within about 30 minutes, you have drainage problems. Repeat this about every other day, especially now that it's turning hot, until the plants begin to perk up. They are fairly drought resistant once they are established, but until then, they need regular water.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Mowing wildflower concerns from Lockhart TX
March 30, 2012 - I went to the Texas Highway Department (Texas Department of Transportation) web site and sent them a concern or complaint about them or independent contractors shredding the roadsides before the blueb...
view the full question and answer

Identification of insects on crepe myrtle in Florida
May 22, 2013 - I have large colonies of striped bugs on large crepe myrtle in my backyard. They stay in large groups and have long antennae. There are larger black bugs among the groups that appear to corral and g...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae)
November 30, 2008 - I have two Bird of Paradise plants on my lanai (Marion County, FL) and they are both in large pots. Nobody but me seems to like them at my house and I have been asked if I could trim all the leaves o...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native indoor plants
October 20, 2007 - My cousin in Pa. asked me to see how to care for 2 plants in the winter. The first is a Voo Doo Lily and the second is a Bengal Tiger plant. If you would please help I would be able to pass it along...
view the full question and answer

Why are there gnats in my houseplants?
July 22, 2009 - I have flying brown gnats in my house plants. Can you tell me why?
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