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
1 rating

Tuesday - November 10, 2009

From: Irving, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Trees
Title: Failure to thrive of newly planted magnolia in Irving TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted four Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora) in my back yard during first week of October 2009. One of them seem to be dying because its leaves have turned very brown and the leaves are curling inwards. These are planted in ZIP 75062 which falls under zone 7b. Could you please help me save this shrub? Of late there was surplus rain. The soil is just moist and not water logged. Same soil condition with other magnolias. Please help.

ANSWER:

If we understand you correctly, you planted or had planted four Little Gem Magnolias just about a month ago, and one appears to be dying. Little Gem is a trade name for a shorter selection of Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia), which is known to be grown successfully in your area of North Central Texas. You didn't say if you purchased and planted the tree yourself, or if you had a landscaper plant it; but either way you need to go back to the source of this tree. To be dying this quickly, especially when planted in cooler weather and with the rains you have had, the tree had to be sick when it was purchased, or severely damaged at some point. Not even being root-bound in the pot would have caused it to begin to decline this quickly. A valuable tree should have some sort of a warranty that it was alive and well when you bought it, so talk to your supplier and ask for relief, hopefully in the form of a new, healthy tree. 

 

More Trees Questions

Difference between liveoaks (Quercus fusiformis and Q. virginiana)
March 17, 2008 - I am a little confused on the identification differences between Quercus fusiformis and Quercus virginiana. How can you properly identify between the two?
view the full question and answer

Dying Bigelow oaks in Austin
July 30, 2010 - I have several stands of Bigelow Oak (Q.sinuata var. breviloba) in NW Austin mixed with Yaupon and Cedar Elms. Several have died each year for the past 8 years. Two now have brown, dry leaves which is...
view the full question and answer

Young Bur Oak not Flourishing in Texas
November 06, 2014 - We have a bur oak in our SW Travis County lawn in Texas, planted about 3 years ago as a 6-7' tree. It is now about 12' but has not "flourished". It has put out virtually no horizontal branches, an...
view the full question and answer

Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
April 15, 2012 - I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area ...
view the full question and answer

Searching for an Escarpment Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) for sale
October 16, 2007 - I am trying to find an Escarpment Black Cherry Tree for planting in my yard. Do you know of anyone that carries this particular type of tree?
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