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

Sunday - June 08, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we pulled one of them and the roots seemed very much alive, but the above-ground wood was clearly dead. Why?

ANSWER:

Tagetes lemmonii  (Copper Canyon Daisy) is not listed in our Native Plant Database. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows it (with the plant code TALE) growing natively in Arizona. Searching the Internet on "Copper Canyon Daisy" we found this site from the Native Plant Society of Texas.

From that website, we noted this information:

"Commonly, Copper Canyon daisy blooms in both spring and fall. The main flowering period, however, is in late fall."

Just taking a guess, we are thinking that perhaps with the late severe cold snaps we had in Austin, that perhaps the upper part of the plant froze. The roots were protected by the warmth of the Earth, and just hadn't gotten around to pumping sap with nutrition and moisture up into the visible part of the plant. Plants will do that to protect themselves; if the roots freeze, the plant will die because it can no longer get that transfusion of nutrients that the roots have been saving for it. You did the right thing to trim off the upper part in the Fall last year but just jumped the gun a little this year expecting upper-plant growth.

From Floridata, here is more information on the reaction of this plant to cold weather.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

East Texas Natives and Botanical History
May 05, 2011 - I am looking for flowers &/or flowering shrubs that are native to east Texas, especially that would have been in this area over 100 or more years ago.
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native petunias from Hodgeville, KY
May 12, 2013 - Planting petunias again in a house border bed.. It has been a tradition for 30+ years to plant the small upright petunias in this particular bed. It started as a Mothers Day gift to my Grandmother, ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen from Simpsonville SC
May 04, 2013 - My neighbor cut down his part of our shared woods so now we see his whole "outside patio area". What kinds of fast growing shade loving trees and shrubs can we plant on our property line that will c...
view the full question and answer

Native aparejograss and Water-cress at a spring in Horeshoe Bay TX
February 24, 2012 - AT a small spring that seeps from a rocky hill on my ranch near Austin, a stringy grass called aparejograss has replaced the watercress that used to be there. Should I be worried? Does the appearance...
view the full question and answer

How to use seaweed for mulch and fertilizer
September 24, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants,I live on the Peconic Bay, Greenport, Long Island. We have an oyster farm and lots of seaweed. I've read that seaweed was used on farms in the past as mulch (fertilizer?). ...
view the full question and answer

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