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

Friday - November 03, 2006

From: Safety Harbor, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with sunflowers in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I planted sunflowers on the west side of my house where I have previously planted them and they grew wonderfully. These new ones, however, seem to be dying, (less than 2 weeks). I bought the plants at the store, put potting soil in the holes and then the plant. I have also used milorganite, as I have used it in the past with wonderful results. Can I just trim the sunflowers to get new growth or are they a lost cause? My gerbera daisies are doing a little better, but not much. What can I do to bring these two plants back?

ANSWER:

Let's consider the possible causes for your plants not doing well:

1. They haven't received enough water.

From your concern about their care, I would think that you had given them sufficient water.

2. They are stressed from too much water.

This is not likely the cause since Florida's sandy soil drains well even if you applied too much water for them.

3. They were overfertilized.

It would be difficult to overfertilize with milorganite.

The most likely cause is that your plants were stressed from something that occurred before you bought them. You can try pruning away the dead foliage from the sunflowers and the gerbera daisies, but it is a little late in the season even in Florida for sunflowers to recover and do very well.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Moving "lily of the valley" from MD to TX. Is that OK?
January 17, 2012 - My question pertains to lily of the valley. From your database, I learned that it is a native plant but only the following states were listed: GA , KY , NC , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV. I am moving from...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas
October 13, 2009 - I just built an in ground pool in Plano, Texas and now want to landscape around it on my own. I am curious what plants/shrubs you recommend. There will be plants/shrubs on three sides of the pool. ...
view the full question and answer

Planting horsetail indoors from Collierville TN
November 12, 2012 - I would like to plant horsetail indoors. Can it handle the inside? Will it try to go dormant or it that a temperature trigger which means it will not go dormant?
view the full question and answer

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

How to Control Pests on Plants for Sale
May 15, 2014 - I am renting a closed spot at a flea market, and am having trouble with several infestations at once, and I am not sure how to control them. I am currently having trouble with aphids, whiteflies, and ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center