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Mr. Smarty Plants - Can Calycanthus floridus survive in South Dakota?

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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

 

 

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