Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Monday - July 11, 2011

From: Liberty Hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Possumhaw losing leaves in Liberty Hill, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have two female possumhaw trees and one of them is losing its leaves. I planted both of them in February and they were doing very well, getting green and full. What's happening?

ANSWER:

Whenever Mr. Smarty Plants hears about plants that have been planted recently and are not doing well, his thoughts turn to transplant shock and watering problems. This case is complicated by the fact that only one of the two plants is suffering. Possumhaw Ilex decidua (Possumhaw) is a beautiful Texas plant whose native distribution includes Williamson County, so lets see what we can do to save your plants.

I’m going to refer you to some links that deal with three important  aspects of the problem; planting, watering, and transplant shock.

Planting

Watering

Transplant shock;  (also see)

Then of course there is the drought.

 

From the Image Gallery


Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

More Shrubs Questions

Has overwatering harmed cherry laurels in Austin?
September 27, 2011 - I am so upset. I know we've been having a terrible drought this year in Austin, and I've been trying to balance water conservation with protecting our recent very large investment for massive lands...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Tropical plants for a pool-side planter in Cape Coral FL
April 19, 2010 - I live in Southwest Florida and have a pool inside a cage with a pool planter built into the deck around part of the pool. What kind of tropical plants can I put in the planter that are not root inva...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.