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

Wednesday - June 24, 2009

From: State College, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: My newly planted Redbuds are not doing well.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I ordered and received 2 Red Bud trees from one of the popular ordering houses. They explained that they were dormant and not dead, and gave us instructions on how to plant them, which we followed. They have been in the ground for about 3 weeks or so now, and they still look like when we put them in. How long should it be before I will know that they have taken?

ANSWER:

Redbuds Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) is a popular  ornamental because of its brilliant early spring flowers, displayed en masse on the bare branches before the plant has leafed out. The species occurs from the Atlantic coast to central Texas.

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that your Redbuds, and perhaps you, are suffering transplant shock . When a plant is replanted, the first order of business is for it to get the roots established in order to get water and minerals to the upper portion of the plant. Until this is done, the rest of the plant doesn't look so good. To check for viability, you can give your plants the "thumbnail test"; scratch a small portion of the bark away with your thumbnail to see if there is green tissue underneath. Finding green tissue is a good sign.  Start near the tip of a twig; if you don't find live tissue, work your way down the branch until you do.  If you find no green tissue anywhere on the tree - including beneath the trunk's bark, then it's dead.

This article from Northscaping.com offers very good information about transplant shock and how to deal with it. One of its recommendations is patience; your plants have been in the ground for only three weeks.

 


Cercis canadensis

 

 

 

More Planting Questions

Problems with Habiturf in Austin
May 10, 2014 - I have been trying to establish a Habiturf lawn in my back yard. It is approximately a 1,000 square foot area and this last seeding was the third over about one and a half years. I just recently over ...
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Galveston that would survive in Austin
December 01, 2008 - What plants are native to the Galveston, Texas region? Can any of those plants survive in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
view the full question and answer

Repotting non-native Agave ghiesbreghtii from Spring TX
June 03, 2012 - I've recently purchased an Agave ghiesbreghtii, and will need to re-pot it soon. I have some cactus soil mix as well as a few rocks to put in the bottom of its new pot. There seem to be roots comi...
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
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