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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 11, 2010

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: Why isn't my recently planted Mexican Redbud growing in Georgetown, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I planted a container-grown Mexican Redbud in early March. As of April 5th, it is showing no signs of buds or leaves. Other redbuds in the area (possibly Texas redbuds) have been blooming for several weeks. Is this species later blooming? Should I take it back to the nursery or wait a few more weeks?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that your Mexican Redbud Cercis canadensis var. mexicana  is suffering from transplant shock. Speaking anthropomorphically, you and the tree are at cross-purposes; while you are anxiously awaiting buds and leaves, the tree is more concerned about establishing its root system so that it can support those buds and leaves. You can satisfy yourself that the plant is still alive by employing the thumb nail test; starting at the top of the tree, scratch a small area of the bark with your thumbnail to see if there is green tissue below the bark. If there isn't, move down the stem a little and try again. If you find no green tissue as you move down the stem, its time to go back to the nursery.

I've included two websites that thoroughly cover tree planting and transplant shock: one is from the University of Kentucky and the other is from treesaregood.org.

This may not be relevant, but if you compare the USDA's County Distribution maps for Mexican Redbud and Texas Redbud, you notice that the Mexican Redbud's not from around here.


Cercis canadensis var. mexicana

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

When to transplant volunteer Cedar Elms in Cedar Park, TX?
October 11, 2012 - We have a number of volunteer cedar elms we would like to transplant. When is the best time to do this? Should they be potted first and later transplanted or transplanted immediately? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Tree transplants having problems in Manchaca TX
April 03, 2010 - I have recently transplanted a Mexican Buckeye, Chinquapin oak, and Sandpaper tree that I have been raising inside since they were seedlings. They have now developed a browning of the tips of their l...
view the full question and answer

Damage to native elm in Texas
August 20, 2008 - We had a major landscape renovation done over the winter. One of the trees, an elm about 10 yrs old, remained in the bed although plants around it were removed. The tree has suddenly started turning...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Tree for Austin, TX
February 10, 2013 - Can you recommend a tall privacy plant similar to the Thuya Green Giant that is suitable to the Austin environment?
view the full question and answer

Carolina buckthorn and Neem Oil Spray Damage
April 27, 2015 - It's April, I have a Carolina buckthorn that seemed to be doing well, about 8 feet tall, about 2 years old in part shade. It was putting out new leaves about a month ago and seemed to have infestati...
view the full question and answer

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