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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.

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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - October 03, 2008

From: Onalaska, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Freeze-back of Hamelia patens in winter in Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Will the hamelia patens freeze back in the winter ?

ANSWER:

Hamelia patens (scarletbush) will die back to the ground in winter, but the roots will survive and sprout back up in spring in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 9. Onalaska appears to be in Zones 8a to 8b, so the plant will probably thrive there. If you do not have a very cold winter, it might not even die back, and would do well with some pruning before it begins to bloom. 

For more information see this Horticulture Update from Texas A&M Extension, Firebush (Hamelia patens) and pictures

 

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