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

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 Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Chamaecyparis pisiflora turning brown in Fuqua-Varina NC
December 10, 2012 - I have a "Soft Serve False Cypress" Chamaecyparis pisifera'Dow Whiting PPAF, that has only been in the ground for 6-7 months. I just noticed that the branches and leaves are starting to die, turni...
view the full question and answer

Ridding property of Dichelostemma Firecracker Plant from Cleburne TX
April 11, 2012 - How do we get rid of Dichelostemma-Firecracker plant? It has invaded our yard & we hate it! How do we kill it?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of passion flower in Tunbridge Wells England
April 08, 2013 - I planted my passion plant 3 years ago and I have really looked after it. I think this winter has killed it, it looks so dead. I hope it can be saved; there isn't one part of it that is looking healt...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for shade in Ennis TX
August 26, 2011 - My house faces south. The southwest side of the front yard has a Pride of Houston, Japanese Barberry, 2 crape myrtles and some dwarf yaupon hollies. The other section, divided by a stairway to the p...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native African violets from Mason OH
May 18, 2011 - I have had 3 african violets for at least 4 weeks. I continue to water them and have moved their location. They continue to have wilted leaves. Are they done for or is there something I can do to g...
view the full question and answer

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