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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Recently planted Chinquapin Oak with browning leaves in Marlin, TX.
July 31, 2012 - We planted a Chinquapin Oak this in March 2012. As of July 21, 2012, the tips of the leaves on the lower branches are turning brown. We cannot see any insects. There does not appear to be any fungu...
view the full question and answer

Problems with hibiscus in Florida
November 09, 2008 - Have a hibiscus in Florida. It has always done beautifully planted in the ground. This year, it has developed something where the branches are sort of white, and the buds (and ends of branches) look ...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in Texas Wisteria from Blanco TX
November 05, 2012 - Just noticed a Texas Wisteria I bought last month and it is already looking chlorotic. Mixed compost in w/the dirt it is planted in but I don't think that will be enough. Is Blanco soil too alkaline?...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Cedar Elm in Austin, TX.
August 04, 2012 - Our Cedar Elm has yellowing very dry leaves and something is eating the topmost leaves leaving holes and obviously chewed off leaf segments. Could this be two different things? Aphids and bacteria or ...
view the full question and answer

Round growths on Mexican buckeye
April 28, 2008 - I have two pink buckeyes next to each other in my yard. The branches on one are completely covered in brown, round growths about the size of a pill bug. The other tree has none. Can you tell me what 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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center