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

Sunday - June 09, 2013

From: Glen Mills, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Damaged leaves on bottlebrush buckeye from Glen Mills PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My recently planted bottlebrush buckeye plants' leaves are looking damaged but it doesn't look like insect or fungus damage. They look battered by wind but I don't understand why that would happen. What could this damage be from?

ANSWER:

To start with the essentials, this USDA Plant Profile Map shows Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush buckeye) to be natiive to adjacent Montgomery Co., if not Delaware Co., so we are going to assume there are no soil or climate issues.

Here are the growing conditions of this plant, from our webpage on it:

"Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, shallow soils over limestone or loamy sands.
Conditions Comments: Though susceptible to leaf scorch, bottlebrush is unique among the buckeyes for retaining its foliage, in good condition, well into fall. It is more tolerant of disease and insects than most buckeyes. Leaves may become quite colorful in fall; seemingly dependent on environmental conditions. Excellent for borders, as a specimen, or under shade trees."

This article from Floridata gives some more information on the plant. Please note especially the warning at the bottom of the page about poisonous parts of this plant.

Our first reaction was to ask if the plant was in full sun, because the Growing Conditions indicate Light Requirements of "part shade" (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) but further research indicated that plants in cooler climates (like Pennsylvania) could do well in full sun (6 hours or more of sun a day). Notice that our webpage mentions "leaf scorch" so we did some research on that.

From the University of Rhode Island, please read this article about leaf scorch. Note particularly these comments from that article:

'Leaf scorch can be caused by many adverse environmental conditions, including soil compaction, transplant shock, nutrient deficiency, drought, salt toxicity and herbicide injury. Leaf scorch is common in the Northeast due to cold soils and slow root growth."

"When using herbicides near trees, do not allow mist to settle onto trees and avoid spraying branches, foliage or trunks with the solution. Apply pesticides only on windless days to avoid problems with drift."

Our opinion is that you have an environmental problem. not an insect problem. We believe the shrub will survive, but should be watched and protected from any of the environmental problems mentioned above.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bottlebrush buckeye
Aesculus parviflora

Bottlebrush buckeye
Aesculus parviflora

Bottlebrush buckeye
Aesculus parviflora

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Fasciation on brown eyed Susan
August 28, 2005 - I have a flower in my garden that blooms every year. This year I have a very strange breed--there is a double flower. I do not know the name of the flower or what kind it is. I only know we nickname...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Carolina Laurel Cherry from Pflugerville, TX
September 02, 2011 - In 2007 we planted 7 Carolina Laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana)across our back fence. Everything was fine until this year. Three of the trees seemed to get sick and a local arborist said the roots ne...
view the full question and answer

Tulip trees losing bark in OH
July 11, 2011 - We have two tulip trees in our yard that are losing their bark at the base of the trunk. I am careful with the mower keeping away from the tree when I mow. What could the problem be and what can I d...
view the full question and answer

Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
August 04, 2009 - My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
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