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 Shrubs Questions

Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen in Long Beach, NY.
August 10, 2011 - I have recently added 1500sq.ft. to my backyard. My backyard faces a busy road. I would like to place native trees and bushes along the fence for added privacy, shade and to protect my house from the...
view the full question and answer

Deep Rooted Large Shrub or Small Tree for Driveway Strip
August 21, 2014 - I am in eastern Massachusetts. My condominium Grounds Committee is searching for a small tree suitable to plant in narrow (4'-5') beds which divide two driveways. Can you suggest something whose roo...
view the full question and answer

Identification of eleagnus-like shrub
August 21, 2007 - There is a plant on our land I can't identify. It has a tree-like smooth light gray "trunk", with leaves similar to an eleagnus (grayish green and rough on top, lighter underneath). I can't find...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
June 30, 2005 - A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.
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