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

Stem canker or leaf fungus in Morella cerifera
June 14, 2007 - Dear Mr.Smarty Pants: The upper half of our wax myrtle, which we had allowed (with artful pruning) to reach about ten feet suddenly died this spring (it dropped most of its leaves and didn't sprout...
view the full question and answer

Nutrient imbalance in Tecoma stans
October 18, 2007 - I have two Tecoma stans on the north-east side of my yard. They have grown very tall (5') but have not bloomed all summer. Last summer they bloomed profusely. Any idea what the problem might be?
view the full question and answer

Juniperus Toxic to Pets?
October 15, 2013 - Are blue rug juniper plants toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Declining wax myrtles in Katy, TX
August 24, 2009 - My wax myrtle bushes were thick and green except for a few on the NE side 6 months ago when we bought the house. Now they are thin, leggy, and dropping leaves like crazy. They seem to be dying one bra...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for bioswales in Philadelphia, PA
August 24, 2015 - Hello, Are there a handful of species you would recommend for inclusion in bioswales throughout the US? I realize plants need to be selected based on climate, but I'm wondering if there are two or...
view the full question and answer

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