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

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

Soaptree yucca falling over in Mesa AZ
July 24, 2013 - My soaptree yucca is about 5 ft tall and has fallen over. Does this plant require staking for I thought not, or is something else going on with it?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting bluebonnets to garden from Columbus TX
January 30, 2014 - Is it possible to transplant bluebonnets from pasture to garden and if so when is the best time to do this? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Transplanting American beautyberry in Cordele GA
May 19, 2014 - Is mid to late May too late in the season to transplant Callicarpa americana, American Beautyberry?
view the full question and answer

Survival possibility of transplant of sucker from oak tree
May 15, 2006 - My neighbor has a young oak tree in his front yard. It has small leaves and round acorns and once a year sprouts shoot up at its base. The neighbor was kind enough to let me dig some up to try to tr...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Blueberries in NY State
November 03, 2011 - I would like to ask you about transplanting blueberry bushes. When can I move them? 3 of them are at least 10 years old and haven't done well in their current location. I have built a fence to keep t...
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