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
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 Transplants Questions

Transplanting live oaks in summer
July 17, 2008 - I have a need to transplant a live oak tree on a home building site. The need is now, the house is almost completely built out and the owners did not prep the site by moving trees or prepping them to ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting care of Mayten tree (Maytenus sp.)
November 06, 2007 - I planted a Mayten tree 2 years ago. It's about 8 feet tall. The trunk is about 1-1/2 or 2" in diameter. The earth around it sunk and now there is a "bowl" that fills with water in the rain. I...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting bluebonnets to garden from Columbus TX
January 30, 2014 - Is it possible to transplant bluebonnets from pasture to garden and if so when is the best time to do this? Thank you
view the full question and answer

B1 for transplant shock in non-native bamboo?
January 24, 2009 - I am wondering about the details as I wish to transplant some bamboo. I do not know the actual variety, as I have at least 2 types, but will take a cutting to a high end nursery.Some of this is about ...
view the full question and answer

Care and propagation of American Beautyberry
July 20, 2007 - We have an American Beautyberry growing on our lot. Before we fenced the backyard it was browsed by deer, and survived by wedging itself between the fence and a juniper tree. How can we: 1. encou...
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