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

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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 Water Gardens Questions

Plants for retention ponds in Grand Haven, MI
July 21, 2009 - I am president of a condo association. We have three retention ponds on the property. From two of them we pump water for irrigation so the water level goes up and down. We are going to try to stabiliz...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering a Juncus effusus in Great Neck, NY
October 23, 2008 - Can I over winter a juncus effusus spiralis indoors or must it be kept outdoors? Whether indoors or outdoors, what is the proper way to keep it alive during the winter months?
view the full question and answer

Water absorbing plant from Surbiton, England
May 21, 2011 - Ground soggy with rain, is there a plant that will absorb water?
view the full question and answer

Plant to stabilize a stream bank in PA
April 02, 2011 - Native plants to stabilize steep stream bank in semi shade to full shade. Southeastern PA. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Understory plants for Lake Forest IL
June 21, 2009 - We have a large mostly hardwood lot in Lake County. It floods when it rains hard and remains damp most of the year due to the amount of shade and clay based top soil. Besides the hardwood trees and ...
view the full question and answer

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