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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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Friday - August 06, 2010

From: Mission, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Need some help with a Plumbago plant in Mission, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello..I live in south South Texas and have a plumbago. It gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun and lately some of the branches and leaves turn bright green almost yellow. Am I over watering or is this common the first year of the plant. I figure it might just be in shock considering I transplanted it seven months ago. Can you tell me what I might be doing wrong or need to do?

ANSWER:

It sounds like your Plumbago plant is suffering chlorosis which is a yellowing of leaf tissue due to a lack of chlorophyll. Possible causes of chlorosis include poor drainage, damaged roots, compacted roots, high alkalinity, and nutrient deficiencies in the plant. Nutrient deficiencies may occur because there is an insufficient amount of a particular nutrient in the soil or because the nutrients are unavailable due to a high pH (alkaline soil). Overwatering can contribute to the problem.

This link from University of Illinois Extension  contains an informative discussion of the problem of chlorosis in plants. Click here for a news paper column from the St. Petersburg Times discussing the treament of chlorosis specifically in Plumbago. 

For a source of help closer to home, contact the folks at the AgriLife Extension office in Hidalgo County.

 

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