En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 18, 2011

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Water Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with non-native bi-color iris from Spring Branch TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Bi colored iris. I have four plants planted around our water feature last fall. Up until recently they all looked very healthy, yet not blooming. Several weeks ago I noticed that two of the plants were losing their leaves. Several clumps of dead and dying leaves are falling away. Any idea on what's going on what I need to do to stop any future loss? I grew this plant in Katy Texas for years and never had this problem. In fact I had to constantly prune back. Thanks.


According to plantzafrica.com Dietes bicolor, bicolor iris, is native to South Africa, and therefore we have no information on it in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which the plants grow natively.

It sounds like you recently moved from Katy to Spring Branch, but they are so close together that we can't see how the different soil could be a factor. Possibly the terrible heat and drought are affecting them, again, we don't know. From the University of Florida Extension we found this article on the management of Dietes bicolor.

Pictures from Google.


More Non-Natives Questions

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

Alternate native plants for bamboo as a privacy screen in Austin, TX.
July 26, 2011 - Can you recommend a bamboo that I can plant, acting as a privacy screen, reaching at least 10'-12'? We are looking for a bamboo that does not spread, and can take the afternoon sun. It will be pla...
view the full question and answer

Non-native begonias not blooming in Round Rock, TX
October 13, 2010 - My angel wing begonias won't bloom. I feed them with fish emulsion. What is the problem?
view the full question and answer

Leaves browning on non-native willow from in Cumbla PA
July 10, 2011 - We recently planted a willow tree. A lot of the leaves turned yellow and some turned brown, but it is also getting some new buds. my question is, should I take the dead leaves off or leave them there...
view the full question and answer

Most invasive, noxious plant in U.S. from New York City.
November 26, 2012 - I was wondering, what is the most invasive/ noxious plant in the U.S? Thanks in advance.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center