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

Sunday - September 09, 2012

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Shrubs
Title: New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on the west side of RR, near Cedar Park and recently bought three 15 gallon cherry laurels from a nursery. Started to plant them today as we bought them a week ago and noticed base of the trunk from top to bottom is covered in black spots and some look like sap coming out. What is it and how can I save them? There are hundreds of spots on the trunk, I can email a picture. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Honestly, if you still have your charge card receipt or other proof of purchase, we would hotfoot that Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) back to the nursery. That sounds like an insect of some sort, and the loss of sap is a serious threat to the plant. Not only do you not want to spend the time and money planting that plant, you don't want whatever it is spreading to other parts of your garden. In fact, if you don't have proof of purchase, and the nursery won't admit liability, we would recommed leaving the infected plants there anyway, to get them out of your garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

More Shrubs Questions

Plants that will grow on the Connecticut coast
June 08, 2010 - I live on the coast in Connecticut and have a hard time growing plants here. I live about 1/2 mile from the beach and find that my soil is very rocky. The only plants that have done well in my yard ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a mock orange in Charleston WV
March 30, 2009 - How far back and when do I prune a "Mock Orange" in order to get it to bloom?
view the full question and answer

Planting Flame Acanthus in Texas
August 06, 2015 - I recently purchased three flame acanthus in 1 qt. pots. I had planned to hold these in a shaded spot for planting once it cools off, but the plants are 2 1/2 to 3 ft. tall. Should I cut them back, pl...
view the full question and answer

What causes rock rose branches to snap off?
August 30, 2013 - my small texas rock rose branches keep snapping in the center. What is causing this and what can I do?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
October 03, 2013 - I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
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