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

Monday - July 20, 2009

From: Whitney, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Diseases and Disorders, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Yellow bands around edges of leaves in Whitney TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How can you tell whether esperanzas are getting too much water or not enough - ours have a small yellow band around the edges of the leaves - crape myrtles - same question

ANSWER:

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush) (Esperanza) is native to North America and to Texas, but most of the areas where it is growing are in far south and southwest Texas. It thrives in rocky, alkaline soils and needs watering only about every one or two weeks. We are not sure what kind of soil you have in your area of the state, but if  you have a clay soil, and have not amended the soil for better drainage, that could be the problem. While Texas has been uncommonly dry this year, you have probably been watering your garden, and water may simply be standing on the roots of the bush. If your Yellow Bells has been planted recently, continuing to water is probably important, but drainage is even more important. Work some compost into the soil around the roots and avoid watering with an automatic sprinkler system. Overhead watering (except rain) can cause problems for some desert plants. It also does not need fertilizer, since it is native.

We frequently find that chlorosis can cause yellowing leaves. In the case of the Esperanza, the overwatering of the roots may be preventing the roots from accessing some of the vital trace elements in the soil, especially iron, and this can cause chlorosis. In the case of Lagerstroemia indica, Crape myrtle) there may be the same problem, but in this case we have no information on it in our Native Plant Database because it is non-native. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to the growth, care and propagation of plants native not only to North america, but to the spot in which they are being grown. 

We checked on the possibility of leaf spot diseases, and found none that fit the description you gave. This Floridata site can give you more information on Lagerstroemia indica but, again, good drainage is about the only recommendation.  Both plants would likely benefit from composting and mulching, and both should be in full sun, 6 or more hours of sun a day.


Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

Tecoma stans

 

 

 

More Watering Questions

Watering newly planted woodland plants in VA
June 12, 2011 - How frequently should newly planted, native plants, growing in wooded areas be watered? Is it better to not water at all than to use sprinklers in which case the water rarely saturates the leaf...
view the full question and answer

protecting native trees during drought
June 07, 2011 - We are very concerned about our mature live oaks and cedar elms because they are so stressed due to the drought. We have lost several of our mountain juniper and I really don't want to lose our more...
view the full question and answer

Protection for plants against a Spring freeze from Easley SC
April 15, 2014 - Is there anything we can do to protect our beautiful spring gardens from the freeze tonight? (April 15, 2014)
view the full question and answer

Watering a Chinquapin Oak in Austin, TX
June 22, 2014 - I have a question about watering. I planted a Chinquapin Oak about 7 months ago and it's about 8 feet tall and doing well. I water it weekly on a slow drip for about an hour. I expect that my job is ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Texas Mountain Laurel
April 15, 2008 - My +/- 4 yr old Tx. Mountain Laurel, has never bloomed. It is in full sun. I sometimes (minimal) fertilize it. I've pretty much planted it and let it grow. Its been pruned back last year when som...
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