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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - November 21, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native plumbago in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Plumbago problem. Live in San Antonio. Planted about 7 of these last spring, all from same store and at the same time. They are HUGE, blooming, thriving, except for the two on the end. They're in a different bed, but all get the same water/sun, etc. Not sure if maybe an animal is peeing there, if that would cause this? I can send a picture, please let me know. I love these plants and just assumed we may have to uproot those two on the end and plant new ones in the spring.

ANSWER:

There is a plumbago,  Plumbago scandens (doctorbush), native to Texas; however, according to this USDA Plant Profile, it only appears in the southern tip of Texas and an area west of the Big Bend. It is a very pretty plant, but not all that showy, so we're thinking what you probably have is  Plumbago auriculata, native to South Africa (Floridata). The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. 

Although this plant is out of our area of expertise, we can tell you that plumbago can suffer from lack of manganese. Since the plants that are not doing well are in a different bed, you might investigate that possibility. If an animal is causing the problem, it will likely return to the same place over and over and it would be better to remove those plants, and leave that area unplanted over the winter so possibly the offender will go somewhere else. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Plumbago scandens

Plumbago scandens

Plumbago scandens

 

 


 

More Non-Natives Questions

Reference for native critical populations from York, PA
May 25, 2010 - I have recently read a naysayer of native gardening. He states that native garden plants usually do not have the critical population size to be self-perpetuating. He says that one could better help t...
view the full question and answer

Black fungus on non-native ixora from Palm Beach Gardens FL
January 29, 2011 - We have 7-8 ixora plants that are side by side and all have developed a black fungus or substance on them. The substance is not only on the plant, but has spread to the wall they are adjacent to. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Non-native lilac in a pot in New Hampshire
May 18, 2009 - I live in an apartment with a balcony that gets morning sun but is in the shade by 3 pm. Can I plant a lilac in a pot? What perennial would do well in New Hampshire? I love lilacs and would like to...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native grasses growiing in non-native alfalfa in Clint, TX
April 16, 2011 - I have six acres of alfalfa in Clint, Tx which was planted three years ago. After taking it to Jaime Iglesias PhD, CEA-Agriculture Texas Agrilife Extension El Paso County; he responded: Mr. Zuniga: ...
view the full question and answer

Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
April 02, 2009 - I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spot...
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