En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Chlorosis in Texas Wisteria from Blanco TX

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

Monday - November 05, 2012

From: Blanco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Soils, Vines
Title: Chlorosis in Texas Wisteria from Blanco TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Just noticed a Texas Wisteria I bought last month and it is already looking chlorotic. Mixed compost in w/the dirt it is planted in but I don't think that will be enough. Is Blanco soil too alkaline? Any soil organic ammendments I could use to acidify after it's planted?

ANSWER:

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) occurs naturally in Texas only in counties in far eastern Texas. As do all wisterias, it requires an acidic soil, which of course you don't have in Blanco County. The compost was a good step, as that will aid in drainage. Poor drainage can often contribute to chlorosis.

Please read this previous Mr.Smarty Plants answer which deals with chlorosis, in this case, Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel). We are wondering if what you have diagnosed as chlorosis might be something else altogether. The wisteria is deciduous, it may just be preparing to go dormant for the winter. You just planted it, so it could very well be suffering from transplant shock. If you follow this plant link, Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), to our webpage on that plant, you will see this in Conditions Comments:

"Conditions Comments: Prefers a good loamy soil in a sunny south or southwest facing position, sheltered from cold winds and from early morning sun on frosty mornings. Plants can become chlorotic on alkaline soils. Prefers a rich soil, but some gardeners feel too rich a soil results in too much leaf growth. Tolerates seasonal flooding."

We already know you have an alkaline soil and probably clay; you can't change that. Otherwise, consider what growing conditions you have given your plant and compare with those on the webpage for that plant. If you decide you have positioned the plant in the wrong place, it is still early enough to transplant it. It can be trimmed back for transplant, and if you repeat the addition of compost, plus some supplemental iron to the soil, you may very likely be able to have a flourishing vine next season. Our webpage also says that the vine can do well in a circumneutral soil, which is to say it doesn't absolutely require acidity to survive. One of our favorite gardening quotations is that plants don't necessarily grow where it is ideal but where they can get away with it. We think, with a little tweaking, your wisteria should be able to get away with it.

 

From the Image Gallery


American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

More Vines Questions

Possibility of growing Smilax pumila (Wild Sarsaparilla Vine in Virginia
June 13, 2006 - Hello, I am inquiring about a plant my grandmother keeps telling me about. It's called sarasee (sp?). It's supposed to have some medicinal properties like helping with a cold and things of that nat...
view the full question and answer

Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
June 14, 2007 - The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have b...
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping in Stephenville, TX.
November 17, 2012 - I prefer native plants. We are re-landsacaping, so I need grass, ground cover, vines and flowers to plant in our back yard. We have many trees and the whole yard is shady. A small area might be con...
view the full question and answer

Differentiating between Cow-itch vine and Balsam-gourd vine
July 08, 2005 - How can I tell the difference between Cow-itch vine and Balsam-gourd vine?
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub looking like honeysuckle in Odessa TX
October 02, 2011 - Bought a shrub in Pecos, TX yesterday. It looks like honeysuckle but the brightest flat orange I have ever seen. Flower and greenery looked like honeysuckle but when I looked on the Internet under or...
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