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
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

Deer resistance of non-native Leyland Cypress from Kerrville TX
April 19, 2014 - Are Leyland cypress deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow
September 20, 2008 - My weeping willow has black holish cracks in it. It is a yearling. Any suggestions? ...
view the full question and answer

Control of non-native invasive Japanese Barberry from Enfield NH
April 22, 2014 - I recently bought a home that is bordered by woods and a sizable area of invasive Japanese Barberry growing on a steep hill in and around a stone wall making it that much harder to dig up. I've alway...
view the full question and answer

Infestation of flies around euonymus in summer
March 02, 2008 - I have 3 shrubs planted in my backyard. I think they are a type of euonymus (but I'm not sure). My question is why do they attract huge nasty flies. The first year we had them they didn't. But the l...
view the full question and answer

Tecoma stans problems in Santa Monica CA
September 20, 2010 - I just purchased a mature 6ft tall potted Tecoma Stance Vine (Honeysuckle), It is placed in an area where it gets at least 3 to 4 hours morning/early afternoon sun and then a shaded sun for the rest o...
view the full question and answer

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