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

Thursday - August 18, 2011

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Water Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with non-native bi-color iris from Spring Branch TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Bi colored iris. I have four plants planted around our water feature last fall. Up until recently they all looked very healthy, yet not blooming. Several weeks ago I noticed that two of the plants were losing their leaves. Several clumps of dead and dying leaves are falling away. Any idea on what's going on what I need to do to stop any future loss? I grew this plant in Katy Texas for years and never had this problem. In fact I had to constantly prune back. Thanks.

ANSWER:

According to plantzafrica.com Dietes bicolor, bicolor iris, is native to South Africa, and therefore we have no information on it in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which the plants grow natively.

It sounds like you recently moved from Katy to Spring Branch, but they are so close together that we can't see how the different soil could be a factor. Possibly the terrible heat and drought are affecting them, again, we don't know. From the University of Florida Extension we found this article on the management of Dietes bicolor.

Pictures from Google.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Seeds and seed pods of bluejacket (Tradescantia ohiensis or Hyacinthus orientalis
March 26, 2015 - I have lots of bluejacket flowers in my yard. I keep looking for the seed pods but can't find any seeds. Where are the seed pods located on the bluejacket flower? Thanks. Lew Dallas
view the full question and answer

Florist Gloxinia Care
October 01, 2015 - Got a florist gloxinia and it was doing great for months. Went on vacation and returned; it was wilted. Think son watered it too much. Allowed it to dry. It has some new leaves forming on the very leg...
view the full question and answer

Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
October 26, 2009 - I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Drought affecting non-native Zoysia grass in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought here in Austin this year and the watering restrictions our Zoysia lawn has suffered and appears to be dead in many areas of our lawn. Will it come back? Is there anything w...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pots outdoors in winter in Virginia
October 02, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what plants would be best to grow outdoors, in pots, in Virginia, in the winter? This is a lot of restrictions but we just need 2-3 plants for our office pati...
view the full question and answer

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