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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - April 02, 2014

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Turk's Cap not returning from Plano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Turk's Cap has shown no signs of coming back this year as of March 31. I pruned to about 12 inches because it was so bushy last year and it was not mulched thru our harsh winter (10 degree low and lots of ice). Is it still to early to give up on it? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Both Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (Turk's cap or turkscap) and Malvaviscus arboreus (Turkscap) are shown in their USDA Plant Profile Maps as being native to Denton County, right next to Collin County, so they are within their natural range. However, the same maps show that many of the areas where the Turkscaps grow are farther south, both in Texas and other southeastern states. This has been an unusually cold Winter and late Spring for Texas, especially in your area. We think they will be all right, as they seem to be tough native flowers, but we will poke around in Google and see if we can find any more information. You can follow those plant links above to our webpage on each plant to find out growing conditions, soils, sun and water needs and compare those with the garden where you are growing your Turkscaps.

From Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture on Turkscap:

"In the Valley it is evergreen, flowering year round, but farther north it will die to the ground as a herbaceous perennial in colder climates where it grows to a maximum of 4 by 4 feet."

"In North Central Texas' black clay, a well-established turk's cap is exceedingly difficult to dig up due to its very tough, dense and deep roots."

It is considered hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 7. According to this USDA Plant Hardiness Map, Collin County is in Zone 7b, so you should be all right.

 

From the Image Gallery


Turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus

Turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

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