Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - July 13, 2006

From: Rowlett, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Watering, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and turn brown but the rest of the plant appears healthy. The plant is located in an area where it gets morning shade and afternoon sun and is watered daily. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

The problem you describe is likely stem rot caused by overwatering. While it is true that well-established Texas betony, Stachys coccinea, can tolerate - and even appreciate - more frequent watering than it would receive in the wild, newly installed plants are especially sensitive to root and stem rot brought on by too much water.

To help your plants better weather transplanting, you should cut 1/3 to 1/2 of the tops off of them at planting. Hard pruning will reduce stress on the roots and will reduce the likelihood of root or stem rot. Also, allowing the soil to dry out more between waterings will help, especially while your transplants are becoming established.

 

More Transplants Questions

Dying branches on Texas Mountain Laurel from Kempner TX
September 14, 2012 - The branches on my Texas Mountain Laurel are very dry and brittle. The leaves are also starting to die. The tree has been in my yard for six years and prior to that it sat wrapped in burlap for ov...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
June 16, 2015 - TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
view the full question and answer

Tree transplants having problems in Manchaca TX
April 03, 2010 - I have recently transplanted a Mexican Buckeye, Chinquapin oak, and Sandpaper tree that I have been raising inside since they were seedlings. They have now developed a browning of the tips of their l...
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

Transplanting of non-native Vitex
April 29, 2006 - I live in El Paso and have a fifteen year old vitex tree planted too close to a mesquite tree in my backyard. As a result of this, the vitex has failed to thrive. My question is this: can I replant ...
view the full question and answer

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