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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 31, 2008

From: Shreveport, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Transplant shock in Texas Star hibiscus
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Why is my Texas star plant wilting and now is starting to turn yellow? I just bought it from a nursery and put it in a new pot.

ANSWER:

We are assuming that you are referring to Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow), which is frequently sold in nurseries under the trade name Texas Star Hibiscus. The name is a little bit of a misnomer as the plant is not native to Texas, but to several southeastern states, including Louisiana. For more information on its general cultivation, see this Mississippi State University Office of Agricultural Communications article on Hibiscus coccineus, Texas Star Hibiscus.

However, that is all neither here nor there in regards to what is wrong with your plant. It would seem highly possible that it is suffering from transplant shock. The plant you purchased has probably been living under sheltered greenhouse conditions, mostly in shade, since it was first sprouted. It would be shock enough to suddenly enter the real world in your garden, but doing so in the middle of the summer would make anything wilt and turn yellow. Quick, get it out of the sun. It does need some sun every day, but get it in some shade for now. Then, trim off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the upper part of the plant (yes, including any flowers), but leave as many leaves as you can for plant nutrition. Don't fertilize, never fertilize any plant under stress. Water it, every day. Any plant in a pot outside in the summer, especially in the South, needs watering every day. The soil (and the pot) can heat up to temperatures that will simply cook the roots if you are not careful. Make sure the drainage in the pot is good, you don't want to drown it, either, but keep the soil moist. Give it some morning sun every day and in a few weeks, when it begins to perk up, you can give it a balanced fertilizer.

Oh, yes, and make sure all your neighbors know what plant you are growing, or you might get reported for growing marijuana!


Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus coccineus

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting a redbud in August from St. Louis MO
August 09, 2011 - I have a 4' tall redbud that needs to be transplanted before the end of August because of construction on our house. Can this be done without killing the tree? Can I take a cutting from the tree and ...
view the full question and answer

Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
April 02, 2009 - I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spot...
view the full question and answer

Move Roses or Ornamental Grasses in Crown Point, Indiana
September 15, 2010 - I have two ornamental grasses that grew real wide this year. They are blocking three big knock out roses that are four foot tall and four foot wide. My question is which one would be easier to dig up ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Sophora gypsophila from seed
April 23, 2008 - Sophora gypsophila B.L. Turner & Powell Do you have any information on growing this small tree from seed? I have a few seeds and would like to try. What conditions break seed dormancy? I have grown ...
view the full question and answer

Madrone too close to house in Oregon
February 02, 2009 - I have a small Madrone tree (8ft tall) located approximatly 15 feet from my house, with a basement. Should I remove it? ie will it damage the foundation and is the tree strong enough that it will no...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center