Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 13, 2009

From: Sulphur, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Why do the leaves of my potted Esperanza plant look droopy?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My Esperanza plant leaves look droopy. I have it in a big pot and have for 3 years.

ANSWER:

Esperanza is a widely-used trade name for Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush), also known as Yellow Bells. It is a native of West Texas and northern Mexico, and is accustomed to dry soil and little water.

You have been growing the plant successfuly for three years, so the appropriate question to ask is what has changed? Watering pattern? Amount of sunlight? Too much ferti;izer?

Your plant's leaves may be droopy, but chances are that the root of the problem is in the roots. The plant could be getting too much water, or it could be getting too little water, or it could be root bound in its present pot. There are of course other possibilities, but lets start with these.

Overwatering the plant can eliminate the air spaces in the soii, and the plant essentially suffocates from lack of oxygen. Esperanza is adapted to dry conditions, so watering every other week should be sufficient. Let the top of the soil become dry to the touch between waterings. In the case of root bound plants, the roots have occupied the entire volume of the pot, limiting the supply of air and reducing water holding capacity. This Weekend Gardener site tells how to recognize a root bound plant, and explains how to repot the plant.


Tecoma stans

 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Need tree suggestions for a long, narrow strip in Folsom, CA.
January 18, 2012 - I live in Folsom, Ca. I have a long strip (50') of planting area about 2.5' wide at the top of a retaining wall to the fence behind it. I would like to plant alternating (2) trees down this strip to...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for foundation plants
June 02, 2010 - Can you recommend any evergreen shrubs that would work as foundation plants in front of windows, so preferably below 4' tall? I would love a native plant, and of course anything for the birds and be...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for Rindge, NH
May 06, 2009 - We are building a new house and I want to get shrubs/bushes that stay green all year long (ie:hollyberry)to put in front and around our house. Which of these would go closest to the house? I'd like t...
view the full question and answer

Blueberries in Arlington TX
August 25, 2009 - Which wild or native blueberries can I grow in Arlington Texas? I think it is zone 8?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.