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
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

Planting a tulip poplar in Virginia Beach VA
November 10, 2009 - Hi. I would like to plant a Yellow Poplar, 'Tulip Tree' in my front yard. I will not be able to plant this tree until after November 15th. The tree will receive direct sun and will be exposed to hea...
view the full question and answer

Lemon cypress Goldcrest in Richland MI
September 15, 2009 - Can the shrub lemon cypress survive a southern Michigan winter? If so, how does one care for it?
view the full question and answer

Planting trees to use carbon dioxide
September 06, 2007 - How many trees must we plant to use carbon dioxide produced by the average American in a year?
view the full question and answer

Need small, fast growing trees for privacy screen in Buda, TX.
February 01, 2013 - Please recommend some small, but fast growing, flowering trees to plant along a western fence for privacy
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
view the full question and answer

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