En Español

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
1 rating

Friday - March 06, 2009

From: Stratford, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Can Calycanthus floridus survive in South Dakota?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Calycanthus in South Dakota? I've recently purchased some seeds for a calycanthus plant (floridus I think). I'm going to start them indoors but am wondering if this can survive a South Dakota winter. I am in northeast SD and January can get mighty cold! I've read that this shrub is rated as both zone 5 and zone 4. I live in a small rural community and have a large yard with many ash trees, some sumac and a large lilac hedge. So, can it survive outdoors and if so, should I wait to transplant until the shrub is more mature?

ANSWER:

This is going to have to be a judgment call on your part. Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub) is listed as being viable from Zones 4 to 9. Stratford, in Brown County, appears On the USDA Plant Hardiness map to be in a Zone 3b area, which involves minimum average temperatures of -35 deg. to -30 deg. and is surrounded by Zones 4a to 4b, avg. min, temps -30 to -20 deg. F. According to this USDA Plant Profile sweetshrub is not presently growing in nor native to South Dakota. Our Native Plant Database says it prefers a rich, moist loam, and can grow well in part shade. The Database also recommends propagation by seed, which we understand you intend to do. It is a lovely plant and probably worth the effort. We would suggest that you follow your plan of putting it in a pot, putting it outside during the warmer weather, and taking it indoors during the cold for the first couple years. Then, plant it outside in a sheltered spot after the last freeze date for your area. You can always cover the plant overnight when a really severe cold spell is forecast. There is more information on the plant in this Floridata website Calycanthus floridus, but it indicates the hardiness zone for this plant as being Zones 5 to 9. 


Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus floridus

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need some help with my Mexican Bush Sage in Rockport, TX.
July 07, 2011 - My Mexican bush sage looks leggy,ratty and sparse. It's planted in full sun and was cut back to the ground in early spring. My soil is sand and I've watered it sparingly as we've had no rain. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Floristic Quality Assessment program in Texas?
January 19, 2009 - Do you have knowledge of a Floristic Quality Assessment program for Texas such as the ones used in Indiana and Illinois?
view the full question and answer

Fence Shrub for Sugarland, TX
June 08, 2015 - Hello I live in Sugar Land TX, I am looking for a fast growing shrub to plant along my six foot wood fence for a privacy screen. There is not a lot of room for them to grow in width but there is pl...
view the full question and answer

Thorn bushes for a fence in Puerto Rico
November 17, 2015 - I'm looking for thorn bushes that grow in Puerto Rico. Want to use as fence to keep wild life in. Thanks, at least 5 ft tall so dogs can't get out.
view the full question and answer

Spring care for Garrya ovata from Pflugerville, TX
February 24, 2014 - Hello again, Mr. S-P, I planted a Mexican silktassel in April 2012 (purchased at the WFC). It has done well, but the leaves are bronzed and splotchy from this winter's freezes. All the stems are...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center