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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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Sunday - September 19, 2010

From: Horseshoe Bay, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Dying branches on non-native buddleias in Horseshoe Bend TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Our Black Knight buddleias are developing branches that die. The leaves just turn brown and the whole branch dies then another and finally the whole plant dies. Do you know what could be causing this? Thanks

ANSWER:

There are 5 members of the Buddleja genus listed in our Native Plant Database as native to North America, and all 5 are also native to Texas. The Buddleia davidii is native to China and Japan, and therefore falls out of the range of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which deals with plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which they are being grown. 'Black Knight' is a trade name for a selection of Buddleia davidii.

This article from  Floridata Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight' will give you some information on care of the plant. From the US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, you can find material on pests and diseases of this plant. In particular, note this extract from the article:

"Pests and diseases: Buddleia have very few pests but are susceptible to caterpillars, weevils, mullein moth, spider mites, fungal leaf spots and dieback."

After reading these articles, you will likely find that the soil or excess moisture in the soil with poor drainage is causing your plant problems.

Pictures of native Buddleja from our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Buddleja marrubiifolia

 

 

 

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