En EspaÑol

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

Annual plants for weed control in Pflugerville,TX?
September 14, 2010 - Can you suggest an annual or summer-dormant plant to mix with Dalea frutescens? The object is to discourage the spring-emerging weeds that precede the leafing out of the Dalea, so it should finish bl...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen — or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees — could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock
July 27, 2006 - Today I dug up a new natchez variety crape myrtle that had only been planted about 3 months ago. It is fairly young. It was very difficult to dig up as it's root were pretty settled in the spot it ...
view the full question and answer

Why doesn't my Possum Haw have berries this year?
May 20, 2010 - A possumhaw holly has no berries as of mid-May. I planted this possumhaw last summer - it had lots of berries. Why would it have no berries this year? This spring I have two yaupons with lots of b...
view the full question and answer

How close can I plant Mountain Laurels to my house in Austin, TX?
December 08, 2010 - Hello, I'm interested in planting 2 or 3 Texas Mountain Laurels on the side of my house and I'm wondering just how close is safe. I've been told that planting trees too close can damage the slab f...
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