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
2 ratings

Tuesday - September 29, 2009

From: Weatherford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Problems with transplanting cenizo in Weatherford TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I tried to transplant a Silverado Sage into a large pot but within 1 day it started wilting. Could it be the soil? I used potting soil not soil from the ground which is a sandy soil.

ANSWER:

That's an easy one. Your Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush), sometimes sold by the trade name 'Silverado Sage,' has transplant shock. What we don't know is how it happened. About the best we can do is tell you what might have happened, so you can avoid doing it again the next time you transplant. 

The first possibility is, if you just purchased it and brought it home, it may have been in a stressed condition from the way it was being cared for at the nursery. It could have been in the pot for so long that its roots were wrapped around in the shape of the pot, and are possibly strangling the plant. When you purchase a commercially potted plant, always lift it out of the pot to see if it is rootbound. 

Another thing is that the cenizo has a taproot. It is always more difficult to transplant a woody plant with a taproot; damage to that root could cause death to the plant. In its natural habitat, the cenizo is a desert shrub. It has low water needs, does best in sun or part shade, and should not be fertilized. You should never fertilize a plant that is stressed, and most native plants don't need fertilizer because they are already adapted to the climate, soils and rainfall where they are growing. It is very important that this plant have good drainage; it will suffer it if has water standing on its roots. 

No matter what caused the transplant shock, here is what to try to see if you can help it recover. Trim off from 1/4 to 1/3 of the upper branches. Keep the pot in sun or part shade, water infrequently and do not fertilize.  Even though the cenizo is evergreen and can bloom 12 months of the year, depending on rainfall, it will be in a semi-dormant state during the fall and winter, which should give it an opportunity to regroup and come back with new growth in the spring. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting bamboo
July 29, 2008 - To transplant bamboo from one place to another, do you dig the plant up or do you get a cutting, put it in water and then root the plant?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification and advice about moving it
March 10, 2010 - I have a plant (a thick stalk about 4 foot tall with yellow flowers on it) that blooms in the morning and the flowers fall off at night. I have searched for info on this plant and have come up short. ...
view the full question and answer

Browning leaves on non-native Burford holly
August 22, 2008 - I have several dwarf Burford hollies whose leaves are browning. The individual leaves have colors of green, dark brown to light brown extending from the stem. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Madrone too close to house in Oregon
February 02, 2009 - I have a small Madrone tree (8ft tall) located approximatly 15 feet from my house, with a basement. Should I remove it? ie will it damage the foundation and is the tree strong enough that it will no...
view the full question and answer

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