Contact Us Host an Event 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
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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Container plants for part shade in Bee Cave TX
June 18, 2013 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants, I am looking for plants that will thrive on my covered porch in 3 tall planters. These are meant to help me block an unattractive view out my living room window, so they must...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Flame acanthus from Bastrop TX
February 17, 2012 - My flame acanthus never lost leaves off the bottom tier of branches this winter. With the brief warm weather and rain we've had, the top and middle tier of branches have all re-leafed. It is very l...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a property near a conservation area in MD
July 18, 2011 - Can you tell me what native plants and the type of landscaping that would be good to plant in front of a forest conservation area that is on a steep hill behind our future house? It is located in Manc...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for Mexican heather in Llano, TX
April 24, 2009 - Please suggest a native or adaptable alternative plant for Mexican Heather.
view the full question and answer

Perennials for mountain cabin in Southern California
July 26, 2010 - We have a mountain cabin at 7,000ft elevation in S. California. Please recommend native perennials. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

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