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?


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

Saturday - August 08, 2009

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Watering trees and shrubs in Buda TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Should we be watering our green ash, red tips, chinkapin, burr oaks and yaupon shrubs during the drought? They are all starting to brown and drop leaves. THANKS!


Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Not even drought resistant plants with good soil are able to withstand this extreme heat and drought we have had in Central Texas for most of the last two years. The larger trees should have their root areas (which may extend well beyond the dripline of the tree) sprinkled every two weeks or so, a good thorough sprinkling. Shrubs can have a hose stuck down in the dirt and a slow dribble allowed to run for an hour or so about once a week. Mulch on the shrub roots will also help keep the roots cool and hold moisture in.

More Shrubs Questions

Pruning buttonbush from Pottsville PA
December 10, 2013 - In a formally planted park, a small area has become swampy. I have choosen to plant it with wet tolerant native plants. I would appreciate any suggestions on pruning the buttonbush [Cephalanthus occ...
view the full question and answer

Native small tree or shrub for container in San Angelo, Texas
July 01, 2010 - We live in San Angelo TX and are looking for some type of a bush/tree that will grow in a pot in a shaded area..we would like something that would grow to be about 5-6 feel tall and be rather narrow.....
view the full question and answer

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcovers for NE NC
April 20, 2015 - Can you please provide a list of evergreen native groundcovers for Northeastern NC?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center