En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - November 22, 2013

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks, Shrubs
Title: Will watering before a freeze protect an esperanza from a freeze from San Angelo, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Would it help to lightly water esperanza before I cover it prior to freeze and/or sleet?

ANSWER:

Esperanza is one of the common names of  Tecoma stans (Yellow bells). Since you called it that, we are thinking that perhaps you purchased it from a nursery that did not specialize in native plants. From our webpage on that plant (which you can read in full by following the weblink above):

"Conditions Comments: North American native varieties of this species can survive winters within their natural range but may die to the ground during especially harsh winters even there. Varieties sold in nurseries may be from tropical stock and not do so well in US cold. Yellow bells is drought tolerant and Southwestern varieties are adapted to monsoon rains with dry spells between. They may flower better if such conditions are emulated in planned landscapes, so allow ground to dry out between waterings. It is tolerant of confinement if containers are at least 12 inches in diameter and thus makes a good potted specimen."

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map for Tecoma stans (Yellow bells), it does not grow natively in Tom Green County, TX. Since it is a drought tolerant plant that prefers dry soil, we would not recommend putting extra water on the roots. However, spreading a good quality mulch on the root area (without touching the trunk) will help to protect the roots against cold. As mentioned above, this plant may die to the ground in a harsh winter, but if the roots are protected, the whole tree has a better chance of survival.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

More Shrubs Questions

What grows in Tampa FL
July 01, 2013 - Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
view the full question and answer

Removal of previously-planted perennials
July 23, 2008 - HI I JUST MOVED INTO A NEW HOUSE THIS YEAR THE PREVIOUS OWNERS PLANTED A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL PERENNIALS BUT I WANTED TO PLANT OVER ONE OF THE PERENNIALS THAT I REALLY DO NOT CARE FOR. IS THAT POSSIBLE? I...
view the full question and answer

Pride of Barbados seed for Ft. Worth TX
February 07, 2013 - When can you plant the Pride of Barbados plant seeds and how to go about it in Fort Worth Texas?
view the full question and answer

Ailing Tecoma stans from Phoenix AZ
August 24, 2012 - I have several young Tecoma plants in my Phoenix, AZ garden. I planted them in June and have tended to them over the summer. They are watered twice daily. On some of the plants, I've noticed two oddi...
view the full question and answer

Fruiting times of native trees and shrubs in the Pacific Norhwest
December 30, 2013 - I am looking for information on fruiting/seeds/nuts times of native trees and shrubs in the Pacific Northwest. Obviously they fruit after they bloom but all I can find is very general information such...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center