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
3 ratings

Wednesday - March 11, 2009

From: Richardson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Trimming a rock rose in Richardson TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala)in my garden. I cannot find any information on how to trim or whether I should trim this plant. If so when? Mine is pretty much growing all over the place and I'd like to shape it up some.

ANSWER:

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow) or rock rose, among other common names, is ordinarily only woody at its base. It definitely benefits from pruning, and if you don't want volunteers coming up under your shrub, deadhead the blooms before they form seed. To keep this plant blooming and prevent legginess, it can be pruned throughout the growing season. Because it is herbaceous above the woody base, it can be trimmed back pretty hard before the foliage appears in the Spring. Continuing light pruning throughout the growing season will maintain denser foliage, keep it from sprawling and encourage more blooms. The pavonia is said to be short-lived, 3 to 6 years, but can be easily propagated from seedlings or softwood cuttings. It is considered hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 9, and Richardson appears to be between Zones 7a to 8a. You obviously have it in a warm, sheltered spot, and it should do just fine.


Pavonia lasiopetala

Pavonia lasiopetala

Pavonia lasiopetala

Pavonia lasiopetala

 

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

Eradication of mahonia repens
July 27, 2008 - What is the best way to kill and/or remove mahonia repens?
view the full question and answer

Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
August 01, 2008 - Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?
view the full question and answer

Spanish Dagger plant interfering with walkway in Ingram TX
April 09, 2010 - I have a Spanish Dagger that is now 8 feet tall and about to fall over in a walkway. Due to the danger of these very sharp tips I need to either cut down the plant or try to root in and replant. If ...
view the full question and answer

Time to trim oak trees in Austin
October 29, 2011 - We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
view the full question and answer

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