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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Monday - July 12, 2010

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Death of mature Eve's necklace in Fredericksburg, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

A friend mentioned his mature Eve's necklace had died this year. The next day I walked past my own mature Eve's necklace(about 5 years old)and it was dead! What could have happened? Thanks.

ANSWER:

This falls in the category of "what's the matter with my dead plant?" It could have been anything from misdirected herbicide intended for lawn weeds to bad drainage to old age. It is very likely that the unexpected low temperatures we had in Central Texas last winter could be the culprit. All we can do is tell you what conditions the plant flourishes under and say that, if it wasn't freeze damage, whatever you did wrong, next time don't do it. 

Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod) has a light requirement of part shade. We consider sun to be 6 or more hours of sun a day, part shade to be 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, and shade to be less than 2 hours of sun per day, so both plants could have been under- or over-exposed to sunlight.  Please note that this plant must have good drainage to survive. It's a good idea to prepare the hole in advance, working in some compost, leaf mould or other organic material to contribute to good drainage. If good drainage is not provided, the plant will typically get chlorotic, leaves turning pale green, and fail to thrive, or even to survive. It is a perennial, deciduous plant, growing from 12 to 36 feet in height. It should be grown alone; if there are larger plants nearby, it will become spindly. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Styphnolobium affine

Styphnolobium affine

Styphnolobium affine

Styphnolobium affine

 

 

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