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

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

Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
December 02, 2010 - I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of crepe myrtles
January 27, 2008 - I have three crepe myrtle trees in my yard. When do I trim back the branches? What if I waited too long to trim them back? Can I still do it? How far do I trim them back? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Genista racemosa from Houston
June 17, 2012 - Read your info on Genista Racemosa. Doesn't address my problem of it not blooming this year. It's in full sun and growing well, about 30" tall & round. Bloomed last year. We're feeding with ba...
view the full question and answer

Common name of non-native Senna corymbosa (Argentine senna)
July 16, 2011 - I just had a plant identified as Senna corymbosa. Can you tell me whether it's a Texas native and what its common name is? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Caring for non-native African violet
September 05, 2006 - How do you care for the African violet?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center