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
1 rating

Friday - July 21, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Other
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Salvia, geum transplant shock symptoms
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I need some help. I transplanted 2 xeriscape plants and they are not doing well. 1 is Pitcher Sage-sorry I don't know botanical name; the other is White Avens. The've grown a lot but all the leaves are turning brown in spots. The Avens plant leaves curl down then turn completely brown and die. The leaves on the White Avens start to grow but don't get big. There is no growth of leave on the pitcher sage; the stem is turning brown. I've sprayed it with safer soap to keep mites off. What should I feed them? Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Both Pitcher Sage, Salvia azurea var. grandiflora (formerly Salvia pitcheri) and White Avens, Geum canadense are perennial plants. Perennials typically take one or two years to recover from the stress of transplanting and three to four years to reach their maximum potential in their new location. It sounds like your plants are mainly suffering from transplant shock.

If your sage and avens were recently transplanted, the hot weather we are currently experiencing could have devastating effect on them. Remove as much of the top of the plants as you feel can be safely pruned away (up to 1/2) to reduce stressed caused by dessication. Until the roots of your plants are better established, they simply cannot support all of the top-growth they could before transplanting. Even potted plants usually suffer significant root-loss during the transplanting process.

Do not feed your plants until they show signs of recovery by beginning to put on new growth. Feeding them now can exacerbate the problems they're currently suffering and could lead to their ultimate demise. Also, horticultural soaps and oils can cause leaf scorching (phytotoxicity) if used on water-stressed plants - especially in hot weather. The symptoms you described for your avens plant sounds like a combination of water stress and phytotoxicity.

Removing some of the top-growth, providing protection from wind and especially intense sunlight, and keeping your new perennials adequately watered during the critical first few months while they're establishing new roots should lead to success with them and just about any other plant.

 

More Transplants Questions

Growing Sophora gypsophila from seed
April 23, 2008 - Sophora gypsophila B.L. Turner & Powell Do you have any information on growing this small tree from seed? I have a few seeds and would like to try. What conditions break seed dormancy? I have grown ...
view the full question and answer

Care for large trumpet vine in Hugo MN
June 09, 2010 - I was recently given a large Trumpet vine that has been growing in the same place for the last 25 years.I have replanted it and given it a large trellis to grow on.I live in central Minnesota. My ques...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Banana Shrub from Houston
May 01, 2014 - My 7' beloved Banana Shrub (magnolia) has white dots on top of the leaves and nasty black stuff covering the backside of the leaves. The plant is dropping leaves. What can I do to save it? I has bee...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of one of two Texas persimmons from Wimberly TX
May 04, 2013 - Last year my son planted two texas persimmon trees. One is blooming ok this year and the other is not. It does not seem dead. What can I do or is is in fact dying?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting an immature Sweet Bay Magnolia
May 30, 2006 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: I just found what I think is a Magnolia Sweet Bay growing wild next to an oak and a pine tree in my back wooded yard. It has blooms on it and is about 2 feet tall. There are tw...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center