Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - October 18, 2008

From: Rehoboth Beach, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Survival of non-native Cape Plumbago in Delaware
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a cape plumbago shrub growing in a large pot outdoors - but we are in Delaware - where it won't apparently survive the winter. How can I keep my plumbago safe over the winter?

ANSWER:

Plumbago auriculata, Cape Plumbago, is native to South Africa and therefore out of our line of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we recommend (and grow in our gardens) only plants native to North America and to the area in which they are being grown, because they are adapted to conditions in that area and so will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance.

We did however, find a website from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension on Plumbago auriculata which said it is used as an annual in freeze-prone areas, and will only be perennial in USDA Zones 8b to 11; Delaware appears to be in Zone 6b. Another website you might want to look at is Taunton's Fine Gardening Cape Plumbago. This site says you can move it indoors, but it is especially prone to spider mites, whiteflies, and mealy bugs when being grown indoors.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native fountain grass for Edwardsburg MI
September 20, 2009 - I purchased a purple fountain grass by a vendor @ the Plymouth, IN blueberry festival. He told me that it is a perennial. I live in Edwardsburg, MI and I keep reading that in my area, they are consi...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native globe willow in Las Cruces, NM
June 26, 2010 - I live in Las Cruces, NM. I have a good size globe willow tree. The leaves are turning yellow and brown dryness at tips and leaves are falling off. Does it just need water?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native King Sago Palm
April 13, 2009 - My king sago palm has not branched out in over a year. I think it needs to be fertilized. What can I do?
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Euphorbia milii from Marble Falls, TX
December 02, 2009 - What is the hardiness of euphorbia mili, crown-of-thorns?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.