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

Wednesday - May 30, 2012

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Shrubs
Title: Spots on leaves of Esperanza from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Have a new 1 foot high Esperanza. It is flowering OK (so far) but it has small rust colored spots about the size of a B-B all over most of the leaves. On the top side of the leaf the spot is depressed in to the leaf and on the bottom side it bulges out. To look at it makes you think of smallpox. Some leaves are yellowing. It has pretty good drainage but I don't know how much to water it. We're not getting much rain but it gets a little squirt from the sprinkler system once a week.

ANSWER:

From our webpage on Tecoma stans (Yellow bells) here is some information on growing conditions for this plant:

"Varieties sold in nurseries may be from tropical stock and not do so well in US cold. Yellow bells is drought tolerant and Southwestern varieties are adapted to monsoon rains with dry spells between. They may flower better if such conditions are emulated in planned landscapes, so allow ground to dry out between waterings."

Since you say it is a new plant, we are wondering when it was planted. One of the biggest problems for woody plants, especially in hot Texas, is transplant shock. We recommend that woody plants, trees and shrubs, be planted in cooler weather, like November to January, while they are dormant.

Please follow the plant link above to learn the soils, sun and watering it likes. The "squirt" from the sprinkler might not be what it needs, but a hose stuck down in the soil and allowed to drip slowly until water appears on the surface about once a week. Also on that webpage, go all the way down to Additional Resources at the bottom of the page. We clicked on the "Search USDA Plants for (plant name). States in green on the map you will get are those where the plant in question is native, usually the first thing we check on. You can click on that state, and get a map of the counties where that plant is native. Here is the USDA Plant Profile Map for Esperanza, showing that it is not native to Dallas County, but is more concentrated in far West Texas. And, again, it may be a hybrid or non-native species from a nursery.

In that same Additional Resources area at the bottom of our webpage there is a link to Google on the plant, which we will use to see if we can find information on an insect pest that might be causing the bumps on the leaves. In the process we found one of our own previous Mr. Smarty Plants questions, which we believe about covers it.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

More Shrubs Questions

Native woodland plants for Benicia, California
May 20, 2009 - I am planting in raised beds around redwood trees, Japanese maples and rhododendrons in my backyard. I would like suggestions for native woodland plants to accompany my established plants. The area i...
view the full question and answer

Native, non-invasive plants for Canaan Valley, WV
April 23, 2006 - I recently purchased a home on an acre of land in the middle of Canaan Valley, WV. The front yard is flat and sunny, the back is on a ridge and is a little forest with a creek at the bottom. The tre...
view the full question and answer

Time for pruning wax myrtle in Texas
January 31, 2015 - We live in Houston. Can we prune back our southern wax myrtle now?
view the full question and answer

Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) for Southern California
May 04, 2006 - Are there any fragrant varieties of azalea that will grow in Southern California? There are some wonderful native azaleas I found in North Carolina, such as the r. alabamense and r. atlanticum. I h...
view the full question and answer

Blueberries in Arlington TX
August 25, 2009 - Which wild or native blueberries can I grow in Arlington Texas? I think it is zone 8?
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