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

Non-native Merremia tuberosa
August 07, 2006 - Respected Sir, I have been trying to find the scientific name and a sapling of a plant which had "flowers that look like rose flowers but are brown in color and have a paper like...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Austin
May 03, 2010 - Due to the unusually cold winter in Austin my sago palms fronds froze. I have not removed the dead fronds should I? If only the fronds froze when will new fronds start to grow?
view the full question and answer

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Clover Among the Bluebonnets in Round Mountain, Texas
April 13, 2012 - I have a beautiful yard of bluebonnets, but mixed in with them are a tall clover that is hiding the flower's beauty and a shorter plant with clover-like leaves that produces burrs. Pulling is not an...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for roadside in Gallatin TN
February 19, 2012 - What native plant would you suggest that we try to establish on 100 feet of road frontage which gets full afternoon sun? The soil is mostly clay, and it's on a rather sleep hill about 10 feet high. ...
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