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

Saturday - September 24, 2011

From: Atlanta, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Drought stressed wooly butterflybush in Atlanta, TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My butterfly bush is dead looking from the drought. Do you think there is a chance it just went dormant and will return next year. I am still putting water on it. I believe it is a white wooly butterfly bush. We live in Northeast Texas and like most I am concerned about my natives as well as my non-natives surviving.

ANSWER:

Yes, even natives are having a hard time in this drought. 

I think there is a good chance that it has gone dormant and I would hope it will reappear!  When I read the profile for Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush), it noted that it is drought-tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping, which is good news; but at the same time, in the maintenance comments, it was recommended that you should avoid complete soil dryness, which is awfully hard in the conditions we have this year.

There are some other Mr Smarty Plants answers that may be of assistance to your concerns.  Many discussions hold that Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush) is only native to far southwest Texas, so it's likely your White wooly butterflybush is a cultivar.  This discussion is about pruning drought stressed butterflybushes and this one about finding the true native version.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

More Watering Questions

Erosion at edge of driveway in Abilene TX
August 26, 2011 - My lawn suffered a great loss of grass over the winter and the soil at the edge of the driveway is washing away with watering and the occasional rains that we have. I am trying to get the grass to gr...
view the full question and answer

Redbud leaves turning yellow in mid-summer
July 13, 2012 - The leaves on our redbud trees are turning yellow. The yellow leaves are pale with no other spots and no dark veins. I don't know for sure which variety of redbud they are or how old they are (more t...
view the full question and answer

Limp leaves on Texas purple sage in Magnolia TX
July 22, 2010 - Recently planted Texas purple sage, some of it looks healthy and has new blooms, but a few of the plants have limp leaves and are thin at the bottom. I read the article on cotton root rot, but am not ...
view the full question and answer

Wintering Purple Coneflowers in pots in Springfield MO
August 26, 2013 - I have some 8 month old purple cone flowers in containers on my porch. They did not bloom this summer because they were seedlings when given to me. I can not put them in the ground. How can I keep the...
view the full question and answer

Shade trees for Spring TX
August 17, 2011 - Dear Mr.Pants, our west-facing backyard in Spring, Tx, is unbearable in this Summer's heat. Neither us nor the neighbors has any backyard trees established yet, as the subdivision is pretty new. C...
view the full question and answer

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