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

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 Container Gardens Questions

Plants in wheelbarrow dying in Jacksonville, FL
June 22, 2011 - I planted a wheelbarrow with daisies, petunias and black and blue salvia. the salvia is thriving, but the others died. Is the salvia toxic to them?
view the full question and answer

Indoor plants for El Paso TX
January 05, 2013 - I want to know what kind of plants will survive indoors in El Paso. It is so dry here, is there anything leafy or flowery that will thrive indoors in this climate?
view the full question and answer

Chile pequin from Spring Plant Sale in Austin
June 08, 2011 - Re: chile pequin purchased at your Spring 2011 sale: it grows, seems to thrive, but sets no flowers and so bears no fruit. It's in terracotta in Ladybug potting soil, on a shady apartment patio. How ...
view the full question and answer

Container vegetable gardening in Austin
April 07, 2011 - Is vegetable container gardening an option with Austin's hot summers? I live in an apartment and I really want to plant an organic vegetable and herb container garden. I'm having a hard time findin...
view the full question and answer

Container gardening for pool in southern California
October 08, 2008 - I have large planters around pool would like to know what plants to use that will not grow to high or to big and will not have large roots home located in camarillo ca.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center