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

Wednesday - May 23, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Planting plumereia and bird of paradise palm outside in Austin
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I have a plumeria and a bird of paradise palm in pots that I want to place in the ground. I've seen plumeria's planted in the ground at a house leading to Bryan College Station that seem to have been planted for awhile. I live in Austin, TX and would love to plant these two in my backyard. I really do not want to hear "No you cannot", but how to help it survive the winter. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

One reason Mr. Smarty Plants is all about promoting the conservation and use of native plants is that they come pre-adapted to survive in their native environment. Here is what you would have to do to grow these non-native tropicals in Texas.

When temperatures dip into the low 40's Plumerias may be stored in their containers or uprooted carefully trying to take as much root as possible and stored over winter in a garage where temperatures are kept above freezing. As soon as temperatures rise outdoors they can be brought out and planted again.

Bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae) will tolerate temperatures as low as 24°F for a short time. However, temperatures at freezing or below may damage developing flower buds and flowers. There is always a chance of losing a season of blooms during a severe winter. You can ensure blooms every year by moving them indoors when freezing temperatures are expected.

 

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Container plants for terrace in New York City
April 25, 2009 - What flowering plants would you recommend that will grow well on a 16th floor terrace ,with all day sun in NYC?
view the full question and answer

Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
July 28, 2006 - I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can ge...
view the full question and answer

Flowering evergreen plant for ceramic pot
April 02, 2013 - I have a deep ceramic pot that I would like to put in a flowering evergreen plant or bush. It is on the deck facing west but with north and south exposure and afternoon sun.
view the full question and answer

Do plants grow faster in natural or artificial light?
March 13, 2009 - Do you think plants will grow faster in natural light or artificial light or a combination of both? And why do you think that. and need your answer for my biology project please and thank you for your...
view the full question and answer

Decline of indoor lemon cypress
June 25, 2008 - I received a lemon cypress as a gift. I have kept it indoors in bright light and tried to keep it moist. When I received the plant the foliage was soft and now it has become brittle and dry even tho...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center