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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 18, 2009

From: Spicewood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Watering, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Failure to thrive of Cherokee sedge in Spicewood, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have several Cherokee sedges, just planted in March. Three of them are doing fine, but the rest look like they're dying. Some are right next to one that is doing great. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

From our webpage on Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge):

"Native Habitat: Abundant in sandy loam in woodlands in East, Southeast, and North Central Texas. Needs good drainage." That doesn't sound much like southeastern Burnet County, does it? The webpage also goes on to say the Cherokee sedge needs wet or moist soil and part shade, and will fare better with extra water in drier months.

Now, as to why three of your sedges are doing okay and the rest are not, with the above comments in mind, we really can't say. There is always the possibility that there were better root systems on the ones doing well, and the root systems of the others have been unable to take up the water they needed. Or maybe the ones that are doing badly are in too much sun (we consider full sun to be 6 or more hours of sun a day), or too little (shade is less than 2 hours of sun a day) when it is specified they need part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun). We suspect transplant shock, since they have not been in the ground very long. If roots were damaged or allowed to dry out before the plant got into the ground, then it could very well be suffering from transplant shock. Our suggestion is to trim back 1/4 to 1/3 of the upper part of the sick plants, in order to cut down on water loss from the plants. Then, make sure they are getting plenty of water, but that the water is not standing on their roots. And if they are in too much sun, as we go into the hotter, drier months in Central Texas, they may need even more water.


Carex cherokeensis

Carex cherokeensis

Carex cherokeensis

 

 

More Watering Questions

Native turf and trees for Odessa TX
July 29, 2013 - What native turf and trees can I grow in my Odessa, Tx back yard?
view the full question and answer

Sad Germanders in Johnson City Texas
September 16, 2011 - I have some grey bush germanders that never seem to do well although they did at first when I planted them four years ago. They have sun and dappled shade on the south side of the house. A friend in ...
view the full question and answer

Removing water from local rivers to water garden from San Marcos TX
February 14, 2013 - I live in San Marcos Central Texas and my household experiments with a lot of organic gardening in our back yard, and I was wondering how using the surrounding rivers such as the Blanco or San Marcos ...
view the full question and answer

Correct cultural conditions for liatris
April 15, 2008 - I recently bought some gayfeather (liatris pycnostachya) and planted in my yard in a nice full sun spot. Gets sun for roughly 10 hours a day. However, it's also the single driest spot in my yard (jus...
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in Red Oak in Albany, TX
October 20, 2015 - We planted a new tree last spring which we were told was a Texas Red Oak. The soil where it was planted is hard clay. We have had a watering bag on it and have watered an average of 2x per week throug...
view the full question and answer

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