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

Saturday - July 28, 2012

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Problems with Silverado Sage in Pearland, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi, We have three Silverado Sage bushes we planted last year. They did great during the drought. However, this winter they had a severed leaf drop of mostly just the centers of them. These center leaves have not returned, they now only have leaves and some flowers on the last six inches of outside branches. We live near Houston. Any ideas on what we can do? They really look awful.

ANSWER:

Silverado Sage is a cultivar of Cenizo Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) which is a native Texas plant found mostly in southern Texas counties west of the Brazos River. (see distribution).  The Plant  Profile from the NPIN page says this abut its growing conditions.

Growing Conditions
Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rocky, well-drained soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: According to legend, Cenizo tends to bloom in conjunction with rainfall. Cenizo is easy to grow so long as it has good drainage. Though this species is the most irrigation-tolerant of the genus, it is susceptible to cotton root rot if soil does not have good drainage and remains moist. Humidity and high night temperatures are lethal. Cenizos should not be fertilized or over-watered. Drought- and heat-tolerant. During very cold winters, may lose a few leaves.

While it is difficult to diagnose plants from written descriptions, you have given a couple helpful clues. First of all, since the plants were planted only a year ago, they could be suffering from transplant shock. I’m including two links to northscaping.com that further explain transplant shock, and offer suggestions for correcting the problem.

Ten Tips for Minimizing Transplant Shock 

First Year Tree and Shrub Care

Secondly, since you are attempting to grow a “desert plant” in the Houston area, overwatering may be the problem. The key is to have well drained soil for the Cenizo to get its roots established.

Two links that might prove helpful:

davesgarden.com A forum discussing Silverado Sage.

greenthumbarticles.com  An article about over-watering

 

From the Image Gallery


Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

More Transplants Questions

Desert willows not doing well in Navarro County, TX
May 16, 2009 - Planted 3 new desert willows , 3-4 ft.in February. Live in East Navarro County and soil is clay with slight slope to Richland Chambers lake area. Had a wet spring. These plantings appear not doing we...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflower garden for Pennsylvania
May 21, 2008 - Hello, I am interested in making a garden, and I would like to use only or mostly native wildflowers in it. Do you have any good suggestions for wildflowers that I can transplant from places where the...
view the full question and answer

Flaming sumacs in trouble in Wimberley TX
August 31, 2010 - I planted three flaming sumacs last fall and all leafed out this spring. Then, early this month all the leaves turned brown on one and it appears to have died. Today I noticed that a second one is d...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Japanese maple seedling in Rotterdam NY
August 09, 2010 - In the first couple days of August, I discovered a baby Japanese Maple growing against the wall of my storage shed, a short distance from a neighbor's full grown Japanese Maple. I transplanted this 5...
view the full question and answer

Century plant offshoots in Denver
January 01, 2009 - Each year I get a small "baby" Century Plants in the early winter..December - January, But it dies off before summer. We live in Denver, CO My main plant is doing fine. Also, should I cut the lo...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center