Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Friday - February 19, 2010

From: Richmond, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Problems with Indian Hawthorn in Richmond TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a lot of Indian Hawthorne plants. I have noticed over the last couple of years that sporadically one will develope a brown area that looks like it was burned or had gasoline poured on it. The branch will eventually spread this brown and die. It is a very slow process initally and then when it spreads it goes very fast, eventually killing the entire plant. I have noticed this problem on hawthorne's in almost every location around town (Houston Texas) since I first saw this in my plant(s). No one can tell me what it is. There are no bugs, scale, mold, etc. It just starts dying on a single branch and then spreads. I have had "experts" tell me it is everything from wood worms to dogs urinating on them. Any guesses?

ANSWER:

Rhaphiolepsis indica, Indian hawthorn, is a native to China, Taiwan and other tropical areas in Asia. At the  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Because this is out of our expertise and, of course, not found in our Native Plant Database, we found a website with some information on the plant for you. Floridata, Rhaphiolepsis indica indicates that it is very susceptible to leaf spot fungus if grown in shady conditions or over-fertilized. You should avoid overhead watering, such as sprinklers, especially at night. Beyond that, you might try Googling on Rhaphiolepsis indica and see what other information you can find. We have actually heard of experts saying the Indian Hawthorn is more trouble than it is worth, and don't recommend planting them at all. 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Viburnum insect damage
October 08, 2009 - I have a highbush cranberry that gets covered in 1/4in black bugs every spring. It makes lots of holes in the leaves. What are they and how can I get rid of this insect.I have tried neem oil but it do...
view the full question and answer

Annabelle hydrangeas blossoms drooping to ground in Wilmette, IL
April 10, 2011 - I have a row of Annabelle Hydrangeas that become very heavy and droop over the entire width of the bed. I would like to know what I can use for support so that they will stand up and allow me to plan...
view the full question and answer

Bugs eating new growth on Mountain Laurel shrubs from Dripping Springs TX
April 02, 2013 - What is eating the new growth on my mountain laurel shrubs? One plant has red bugs and the other has black (could they be love bugs?). Is there something I can do to preserve the new growth?
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Bushes for Broken Arrow OK
August 27, 2014 - I am looking for bushes that attract hummingbirds. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. Can you recommend some?
view the full question and answer

Florida shrub with tiny green pumpkin-like fruit
July 23, 2008 - I live in Central Florida and have a fast-growing shrub with long stems. The leaves are similar to sassafras and from a distance the red flowers resemble those of a geranium. It has pods that look l...
view the full question and answer

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