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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 24, 2011

From: Atlanta, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Drought stressed wooly butterflybush in Atlanta, TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My butterfly bush is dead looking from the drought. Do you think there is a chance it just went dormant and will return next year. I am still putting water on it. I believe it is a white wooly butterfly bush. We live in Northeast Texas and like most I am concerned about my natives as well as my non-natives surviving.

ANSWER:

Yes, even natives are having a hard time in this drought. 

I think there is a good chance that it has gone dormant and I would hope it will reappear!  When I read the profile for Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush), it noted that it is drought-tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping, which is good news; but at the same time, in the maintenance comments, it was recommended that you should avoid complete soil dryness, which is awfully hard in the conditions we have this year.

There are some other Mr Smarty Plants answers that may be of assistance to your concerns.  Many discussions hold that Buddleja marrubiifolia (Woolly butterflybush) is only native to far southwest Texas, so it's likely your White wooly butterflybush is a cultivar.  This discussion is about pruning drought stressed butterflybushes and this one about finding the true native version.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

Woolly butterflybush
Buddleja marrubiifolia

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Getting rid of Aphids on Asclepias plants in Brea, CA.
July 23, 2012 - I grow asclepsias or MILKWEED for the benefit of Monarchs. At times I have aphids consuming the leaves. How can I destroy the aphids without harming the Monarch eggs? Thank you very much.
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Flower Boxes in NY
July 06, 2016 - I am doing a project for a friend that had some flower boxes built along his driveway. They are along a hill leading up to his porch. They are made of all wood and have a wooden wall along the not-hil...
view the full question and answer

Are Viguiera dentate leaves toxic to dogs?
November 26, 2014 - Many dogs on the Turkey Creek Nature Trail in Emma Long Metropolitan Park love to snack on the leaves of the Viguiera Dentata plants. The leaves SEEM to be harmless. I am writing to request informat...
view the full question and answer

Bringing Non-native Cannas out of Winter Storage
February 15, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants - Is it possible to force canna tubers? Would placing them on a heating pad help? I am in Ohio - zone 5. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Native plants for border in Katy, TX
May 13, 2009 - I live in Katy, TX. I am looking for a native plant for front of the border edging (approx 10 inches).
view the full question and answer

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