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

Thursday - March 28, 2013

From: Bryan, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Shrubs
Title: Death of lantana in Bryan TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to know what killed several new gold lantana in a single bed that died over the winter. They looked quite healthy last fall. I have several other new gold lantana that survived the winter very well in a nearby bed that are on the same irrigation zone. Both beds are raised. There are African Iris that look fine in the same bed as the dead lantana. When I pull out the dead lantana, only 6 inches of the root system pulls out with the stump, the roots are brittle and appear to be encased in a brown, porous material, about twice the diameter of what I think is the root. Any advice is welcomed.

ANSWER:

What you have is a cultivar or hybrid of Lantana camara, which is native to tropical and subtropical areas in Central and South America. Top growth is winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 (roots hardy to Zone 9). Brazos County is in USDA Hardiness Zones 8b to 9a, but since the same plant is doing all right in other beds we don't think that is the problem.

This Denton Count Master Gardeners article New Gold Lantana will give you information on the sun and moisture needed. Please note the Warning at the bottom of that page on the poisonous aspect of the plant.

Since the climate and watering is apparently appropriate for your plant, we have a feeling it is a problem in the dirt of that bed. Please read this article from The University of Arizona Cotton Root Rot. This deals with a fungus in the soil. We could find no information indicating that this plant was either susceptible nor resistant to the fungus.

Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, recommends only plants native not only to North America but to the area where the plants will be grown  (in your case, Brazos County) we have no further information. We are gardeners, not plant pathologists, so we suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Education for Brazos County.

From Google, here are Images of Cotton Root Rot.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Roots of Savannah Holly close to house
February 26, 2009 - I live in Sugar Land and want to plant Savannah Holly at the ends of both sides of the front flowerbed. Are the roots too dangerous to plant so close to the house? (How far from the house should they...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging baskets in Austin
October 06, 2009 - Can you suggest some plants for winter hanging baskets in the Austin, TX area?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Chamaedorea cataractarum question from Somerset MA
February 12, 2010 - I have a Chamaedorea Cataractarum palm and I was wondering what a clumping palm is. From what part of the plant do the new fronds emerge? Was trying to look all over the web but can't find it. If you...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native hybrid hydrangea from Traverse City, MI
June 24, 2012 - We just planted some new Hydrangea (Summer Beauty) that we bought at a local nursery. The plants are about 3' tall with blooms on the stalks. The blooms appear to be top-heavy as most all the stalks ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native peanutbutter tree suckering in Oregon City OR
August 02, 2011 - I have a beautiful 'peanutbutter tree' in my yard. I have noted that there are plantlets coming up that appear to be attached to the main root(s) of the tree. I have been breaking them off as I don...
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