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?

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
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

Tuesday - March 06, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Ligustrums planted last summer are doing poorly in Houston, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I planted large mature ligustrums trees (~ 8 ft) last summer and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. Can you please tell me what the cause of this might be and what we can do to prevent the plant from further decay?

ANSWER:

Let me start by stating that the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. You may have Ligustrum japonicum which is an introduced species from Japan, and is considered an invasive species in Texas. This Nativw Plant Guide by the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas explains their Exotics Instead of Common Exotics (NICE) program. See page 24 for possible alternatives to Ligustrum in the Houston area.
 
When you say last summer, are you talking about the summer of 2011, one of the hottest summers on record? If so, Mr. Smarty Plants is thinking your Ligustrums are suffering from transplant shock. Summer is not a good time to transplant large trees/shrubs.
I’m including three links that explain transplant shock, and steps that can be taken to prevent it and treat it.

Clemson University

northscaping.com

gardeningknowhow.com

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Runaway Agave Americana from Pacific Palisades CA
April 29, 2013 - We live near open space on Santa Monica Mountain State Park. Our Association planted non-native, invasive Agave Americanas all over the adjacent slopes, and we are trying to get the exploding pups and...
view the full question and answer

Removal of mature agaves
November 20, 2007 - Hello- we live in Austin, TX and have a bed of different varieties of agave. They are near the walkway to our house, and are so out of control they pose a hazard to our guests walking up to the house...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
November 10, 2011 - I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take...
view the full question and answer

Is a mulberry tree undesirable?
June 27, 2013 - I have a hard time keeping plants alive, so I was happy when a random plant just started growing and thriving about 5 years ago in my yard. My mom (a frequent volunteer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center