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 invasive Asian jasmine in greenbelt in Austin
September 22, 2010 - How can I convince the people that live next to me to control their Asian jasmine? We have a small greenbelt owned by the City behind our houses and they have let it grow until it is ruining the gree...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Habiturf in Austin
May 10, 2014 - I have been trying to establish a Habiturf lawn in my back yard. It is approximately a 1,000 square foot area and this last seeding was the third over about one and a half years. I just recently over ...
view the full question and answer

Suckers on non-native Mayten tree
April 26, 2009 - We have a Meyten tree that has lots of suckers coming up from the roots. We would like to keep the tree, but if we can't find a way to control the suckers, we are considering taking it out. Any sugg...
view the full question and answer

Care for some non-native salvias from Austin
November 12, 2012 - Mexican bush sage and Salvia "indigo spires" are both blooming in my Austin beds right now. Once they stop blooming and/or frost gets them, could you tell me by how much they should be cut back? R...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Centaurium spicatum, family gentianceae
January 21, 2008 - I need to know every single detail about centaurium spicatum family gentianceae.
view the full question and answer

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