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
1 rating

Friday - May 28, 2010

From: Texas City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Transplants, Watering
Title: Why is my recently planted Esperanza doing poorly in Texas City, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have an Esperanza I planted about 2 months ago. It has been doing well, except today all but one stem of the plant is wilting and the leaves are rolling. I see no bugs on the plant. Any idea what might be causing this?

ANSWER:

I think we have two things going on here. The first is that your Esperanza is experiencing transplant shock. When a plant comes out of a pot and is put into soil, there is a period of adjustment while the root system gets established in order to supply the stems and leaves. The roots are not able to supply enough water to the leaves so they wilt and fall off. In some cases, the plant has become root-bound in the pot, and this makes the adjustment period harder. Two common mistakes that are made with new plants are over watering and over-fertilzation. The plant is stressed because of the transplanting, and stressed plants don't need fertilizer.
Removing 1/4 to 1/3  of the damaged upper part of the plant can can help alleviate the situation by reducing the water demand on the roots. Leave as many healthy leave leaves as you can so photosynthesis can continue and feed the roots. Once the balance between roots and shoots has been restored, the plant is on the road to recovery.

The other thing has to do with location. Esperanza Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush) is a desert plant with a large range extending from south Texas westward to Arizona. If you check the USDA County Distribution map for Tecoma sans, you will see that it does not occur naturally along the Gulf Coast. It grows in full sun or partial shade with dry conditions, and prefers well drained, rocky, limestone, sand and loam soils. Is that the situation where your plant is growing?

You maybe able to coax Esperanza to grow in Texas City by addressing soil pH and drainage issues. I suggest that you contact the folks at the the Galveston County Office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
July 16, 2011 - Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next ...
view the full question and answer

Fasciation in Houston.
March 29, 2008 - I live in Houston and have had a rather large flower garden for many years. Most of the flowers are just gorgeous but over the last two or three years I have noticed that occasionally some of the flo...
view the full question and answer

Stressed live oaks from Lakeway TX
August 19, 2013 - I have some Live Oaks who appear to be stressed (Ball Moss is becoming very prevalent on some of them) during the drought in Central TX. How often and how long should I water them? Thank you very much...
view the full question and answer

Juniper as host of cedar-apple rust
July 17, 2007 - Thanks for the helpful advice on the Eastern Red Cedar. I was wondering if you could ease my mind about a potential problem. I have read up on some of the native plants in my area in a very good book ...
view the full question and answer

Use of surfactants with herbicide for water
January 05, 2008 - I read the article on frogs and the use of Rodeo. Your answer was correct, but to the best of my knowledge, Rodeo is approved for use near water only because it lacks a surfactant. When surfactant...
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