En Español

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

Thursday - May 31, 2012

From: Comfort, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Jerusalem Sage from Comfort TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Comfort, TX. I have 3 Jerusalem sage plants that bloom beautifully each year. However, just the past week one has started turning yellow and brown. The leaves look withered and ready to die. Another in another part of the yard is starting to do the same. They are in well-drained soil and full sun. I have sprayed them with Green Light Fruit Tree Spray just in case there is a little unseen predator on the leaves. I don't recall this happening before. They even made it through the terrible drought we had the past couple of years. Could iti be something as simple as needing an iron supplement or some other kind of nutrient?

ANSWER:

Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) - native to Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Turkey does not appear in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which that plant grows naturally, so this plant falls outside our area of expertise. The use of native plants makes survival and thriving of the plant more likely because they will be accustomed by centuries of experience to the climate, soils and rainfall where they are growing.

Since we know nothing about this plant, here is an article from Perennials.com on Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage). This USDA Plant Profile Map does not show it growing in Texas at all, but only in California. That doesn't necessarily mean it won't grow in Texas, but only that it has not been reported growing there. We suspect it may not find the soil compatible with its needs, and it may need some shade in Kendall County, Central Texas.

Perhaps you can get some more information from this article from the Sonoma County (California) Master Gardeners.

Oh, and one more thing - we don't recommend any kind of "just in case" application of chemicals or fertilizers unless you have a clear indication that it is needed and appropriate. You can do more harm than good.

Pictures of Jerusalem Sage.

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

Information about blackleaf elderberry
July 03, 2008 - I was given a blackleaf elderberry. Do I plant this tree in shade or sun? Also, does it require a lot of moisture? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree
September 16, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently, I saw a short article about attracting birds to one's yard. The article said to plant "berry-bearing" shrubs, but didn't name any specific shrubs. Could you tell...
view the full question and answer

Non-allergenic landscape in Fairfield, CT
April 18, 2009 - I live in Fairfield, CT and need to have a non-allergenic landscape. Can you please list plants, ground covers, and trees/shrubs that would be beautiful, and help in this critical situation? The lan...
view the full question and answer

Less Maintenance Plant Suggestions for New Raised Bed in Henderson, NV.
April 03, 2014 - We have a newly constructed raised garden bed. I was wondering what kind of plants would be appropriate to plant this springtime in Henderson, NV with less maintenance because I work full time.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center