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
1 rating

Monday - July 21, 2008

From: Weslaco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Death of Tecoma stans after heavy rain
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had two esperanza plants. They have been planted for about four months, this spring. They were blooming and growing. We had six inches of rain in five days and they began to wilt - and then they died. They were not in standing water but close to it. We live at the south tip of Texas.

ANSWER:

We are sorry to tell you your poor plant drowned. Esperanza is a widely-used trade name for Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush), also known as Yellow Bells. It is a native of West Texas and northern Mexico, and is accustomed to dry soil and little water. It is also a tender perennial, and can suffer significant damage if the temperature drops too far. However, as Hidalgo County is in Zone 11, in the South Texas Plains, it should be fairly reliably evergreen. What it cannot withstand is wet feet. Possibly if the plants had been a little older and more well-established when the rains came, they might have been able to survive. As it was, the water on the roots of your plants was simply overwhelming. Even though you could not see standing water, you can bet it was there. Possibly you have clay, poorly-draining soil, which always aggravates the problem when you have a plant needing good drainage. Our suggestion, if you want to try again on this plant, is to first prepare the holes where you want to plant them by amending with compost or other humus to counteract the clay. Or, if the original location was one where water often collects, perhaps under the eaves of the house, another spot would probably be more beneficial. This plant is well worth the trouble.


Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans
 

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting an immature Sweet Bay Magnolia
May 30, 2006 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: I just found what I think is a Magnolia Sweet Bay growing wild next to an oak and a pine tree in my back wooded yard. It has blooms on it and is about 2 feet tall. There are tw...
view the full question and answer

Yucca elata flowering in Tauranga, NZ.
August 20, 2009 - I have two huuuuuuge Yucca elatas in my garden. One of them flowered spectacularly last year - a 15ft stalk that grew so quickly you could hear it, and then burst into a cloud of waxy cream flowers. M...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native yellow lantana in Emerald Isle, NC
August 22, 2010 - We live in Emerald Isle, NC. Can we transplant yellow lantana? It is not really a perennial but appears to be one at the coast. If so, when do you transplant?
view the full question and answer

Caring for Texas Buckeye in Buda TX
February 07, 2011 - I have a Texas Buckeye that is planted in a moderate amount of shade. It is growing very slowly, and only holds on to it's leaves from late March to August. It has been in the ground for about 4-5 ye...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock
July 27, 2006 - Today I dug up a new natchez variety crape myrtle that had only been planted about 3 months ago. It is fairly young. It was very difficult to dig up as it's root were pretty settled in the spot it ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center