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

Saturday - January 31, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Leaf problems on non-native Pachira aquatica
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Pachira Aquatica. I have had it for 6 months and it has been thriving and growing very tall with nice leaves. Lately some of the leaves have become mottled yellowish green and fallen off. Can you tell me what's wrong? It looks like it has outgrown the pot, so I am planning on repotting anyway, but want to know if I need to do anything else. It is still getting new leaves at the top. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Pachira aquatica, as this site from Floridata will tell you, is a tropical wetland tree native to Central America and northern South America.  At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the use, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which they are being grown. This plant is, therefore, out of our expertise and experience. We can tell you that it is hardy to Zones 10 and 11; in Austin, we are in Zones 8a to 8b. Obviously, that is why it is often treated as a pot plant, but it will outgrow that pot, and it can't survive our winter weather outside. It is accustomed to actually standing in water, especially when the water will recede from time to time to allow the plant to access some oxygen. Since this plant will, of course, not appear in our Native Plant Database, we found an additional site, rareflora.com, on Pachira aquatica, with some pictures of it both outside and in containers.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Clearing out non-native Himalayan blackberry
January 25, 2009 - Can you recommend a way to clear an area of Himalayan blackberry? We have cut the canes back but wish to eliminate them completely so that we can replant that area with native plants attractive to wil...
view the full question and answer

Is a mulberry tree undesirable?
June 27, 2013 - I have a hard time keeping plants alive, so I was happy when a random plant just started growing and thriving about 5 years ago in my yard. My mom (a frequent volunteer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Ixora
April 22, 2009 - I have 3 Ixoras I planted last summer and they did beautifully -- then Ike visted us. All the other plants in that garden have recovered and look beautiful, but the ixoras still look ill. No new gro...
view the full question and answer

When to plant non-native red-tip photinia
November 17, 2011 - When do you plant the Red-Tip Photinia Flowering Shrubs in Roanoke VA?
view the full question and answer

Information about non-native Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)
June 23, 2009 - Hello, I have been trying to identify a shrub that has been in my backyard for many years, and I happened to come across your website. I was able to identify the plant as Night-Blooming Jasmine, but t...
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