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

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 Shrubs Questions

White flowers to plant in front of evergreen tree screen in Altoona PA
June 15, 2010 - I have planted about 30 evergreen trees (as a screen). I would like to plant a row of low maintenance whitish flowering bushes or low maintenance large flowering plants in front of this row. Any sug...
view the full question and answer

Advice about lavender (Lavandula sp.)
June 03, 2008 - I recently visited a Lavender Farm just outside Gainseville Texas. I was hooked. However, when I started reading about growing Lavender I found that you should have well drained alkaline soil. Since...
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum opulus var. americana (Viburnum trilobum) Self-fertile?
April 02, 2014 - I am trying to attract birds to my Chicago area yard and I believe I have good conditions to grow highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum). My question is about the need for cross pollination. The liter...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
view the full question and answer

Natural location of Ceanothus impressus in California
May 21, 2006 - Where is Ceanothus impressus 'victoria' native? I need as specific as you can. Thanks much.
view the full question and answer

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