Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Friday - August 30, 2013

From: waxahachie, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Shrubs
Title: What causes rock rose branches to snap off?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

my small texas rock rose branches keep snapping in the center. What is causing this and what can I do?

ANSWER:

Pavonia lasiopetala (Rock rose) is a favorite small perennial that is both drought- and cold-resistant and does well in partial shade.  The branches are relatively fragile, especially when they are left to grow long (see attached image).  I suspect that some of your branches may have been broken by animals (including humans) brushing against them.  Pavonia's naturally loose, open-branching form may be kept more compact by frequent pruning, which promotes new growth and more flowers.  This may lessen the likelihood of branch breakage.

Pavonia at my house in Austin are a favorite with the deer, who usually nibble leaves off the tips of the branches, sometimes breaking them in the process. If you notice that the mature leaves are missing from the branch tips deer herbivory may also be a cause of your branch damage.

 

From the Image Gallery


Rock rose
Pavonia lasiopetala

More Shrubs Questions

Perennial summer blooming plant for Livonia, MI
May 22, 2009 - I want to find a plant that I can cut back in the fall, will come back in the spring, flower throughout the summer, be a medium size plant, no taller than 48", about 36" in diameter. It would get f...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native shrubs for hedge in Austin
November 20, 2008 - Please help! Looking for an inexpensive, fast growing shrub or tree to plant along 200' fence in our backyard. Lots of sun (southwest side) but I wouldn't call it dry. Hoping for something that k...
view the full question and answer

What plants grow well in Athens, TX?
January 18, 2011 - Athens, Texas, we have very sandy soil mixed with clay, what plants grow well here?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Wax Myrtle trees & bushes
February 28, 2016 - When is the best time of year to prune Wax Myrtle trees & bushes.
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.