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
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

Survival of native yaupon in The Woodlands, TX after hurricane
September 25, 2008 - One of my large native yaupons trees (8ft) fell away from a group during the hurricane. I have uprighted and tied it off for stability. Now the leaves are all brown and falling. Is the tree dead or...
view the full question and answer

Potting soil used in Wildflower Center nursery
October 23, 2008 - I recently purchased several beautiful little plants at your Fall plant sale and notice how very happy and healthy they all are! Please tell me if you mix your own potting soil and what your potting ...
view the full question and answer

Timing for transplanting a yaupon in Louisiana
January 01, 2009 - I found a female yaupon growing wild at the back of my property and would like to move it to the front. When should I do this?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Banana Shrub from Houston
May 01, 2014 - My 7' beloved Banana Shrub (magnolia) has white dots on top of the leaves and nasty black stuff covering the backside of the leaves. The plant is dropping leaves. What can I do to save it? I has bee...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
April 18, 2009 - Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center