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
2 ratings

Tuesday - September 29, 2009

From: Weatherford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Problems with transplanting cenizo in Weatherford TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I tried to transplant a Silverado Sage into a large pot but within 1 day it started wilting. Could it be the soil? I used potting soil not soil from the ground which is a sandy soil.

ANSWER:

That's an easy one. Your Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush), sometimes sold by the trade name 'Silverado Sage,' has transplant shock. What we don't know is how it happened. About the best we can do is tell you what might have happened, so you can avoid doing it again the next time you transplant. 

The first possibility is, if you just purchased it and brought it home, it may have been in a stressed condition from the way it was being cared for at the nursery. It could have been in the pot for so long that its roots were wrapped around in the shape of the pot, and are possibly strangling the plant. When you purchase a commercially potted plant, always lift it out of the pot to see if it is rootbound. 

Another thing is that the cenizo has a taproot. It is always more difficult to transplant a woody plant with a taproot; damage to that root could cause death to the plant. In its natural habitat, the cenizo is a desert shrub. It has low water needs, does best in sun or part shade, and should not be fertilized. You should never fertilize a plant that is stressed, and most native plants don't need fertilizer because they are already adapted to the climate, soils and rainfall where they are growing. It is very important that this plant have good drainage; it will suffer it if has water standing on its roots. 

No matter what caused the transplant shock, here is what to try to see if you can help it recover. Trim off from 1/4 to 1/3 of the upper branches. Keep the pot in sun or part shade, water infrequently and do not fertilize.  Even though the cenizo is evergreen and can bloom 12 months of the year, depending on rainfall, it will be in a semi-dormant state during the fall and winter, which should give it an opportunity to regroup and come back with new growth in the spring. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplant shock in Texas natives garden
August 20, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I thought that my new Texas Natives garden was recuperating from ALL the rain. But, suddenly, my Texas Red Bud and the Eve's Necklace next to it have MANY yellow leaves. Is the...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Ilex x attenuata (Savannah holly)
July 31, 2014 - Is it hard to take a savannah holly out of my front yard? Do the roots grow down deep or are they more shallow? I can only take a 36-40 rootball circumference because of surrounding established shru...
view the full question and answer

Can I Divide Rudbeckia in July in NC.
July 22, 2009 - How do I transplant Blackeyed Susans so I can add them to other parts of the bed. I started with one and it is crowding out other plants, so I would like to transplant to other parts of the yard.
view the full question and answer

Relocating native oak trees in compacted soil
September 14, 2008 - Can you replant and relocate small oak trees in compacted soil and will they grow or go into shock?
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native podocarpus Cupertino CA
May 22, 2011 - I recently planted a podacarpus granular and over half the leaves are turning yellow some are dead. What could be the problem? Is there something I can feed it? What should I do? I planted four & the...
view the full question and answer

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