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 Non-Natives Questions

Yellowing branches on non-native sago palms after freeze in Rusk TX
January 30, 2010 - My Sago Palms experienced a good freeze. Now they have a multitude of yellowing branches, in fact most of the plant is yellow. Please advise what to do to save my plants. They are about nine years ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native crapemyrtles changing color in Homer LA
June 23, 2009 - I have six natchez crape myrtles, 2 1/2 years old now. This year, one of them has started blooming in a lavender color. Have you ever heard of this?
view the full question and answer

How to eradicate non-native invasive Houttuynia cordata from Muskogee OK
March 20, 2011 - I have planted a very invasive plant called houttuynia and cannot get rid of it! It is very stinky and the stems break off easily at the roots. I cannot dig it up anymore - it is all over in my flow...
view the full question and answer

Moving non-native globe willow in Ft. Worth TX
August 10, 2009 - I planted a globe willow in a small area in front of my house and it is probably going to need more space. Can I replant it in a more open area without killing it? It is about 8-9 ft tall, 2-3 ft of ...
view the full question and answer

Thrips on non-native roses in Austin
June 11, 2009 - How can I get rid of thrips that have totally invaded all of my roses?
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