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?


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 - August 13, 2005

From: Lawrence, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Native or non-native hibiscus for Kansas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I recently purchased a 10" Hibiscus flowering plant and would like to know how to care for it. How much water and sunlight does it need and how long I can expect it to live? It is a beautiful plant and let's just say I don't exactly have a green thumb!


There are two species of Hibiscus that are native to Kansas: Scarlet rose mallow (Hibiscus laevis) and Crimson-eyed rose mallow (H. moscheutos). If you select "Growing Conditions" from the menu at the top of the page for each flower, you will see that both grow well in part shade, require lots of water and a moist soil. For H. laevis the soil needs to be acidic; while for H. moscheutos, the soil should be alkaline. Both should do well growing outdoors.

If, however, you have bought one of the non-native tropical species of Chinese hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis) or Rose of Sharon or Shrub Althea (H. syriacus) the care requirements will be different and they may, or may not, do well outside in the Kansas winter.

More Non-Natives Questions

Growing non-native lettuce under artificial light from Washington NY
April 15, 2012 - Which artificial light( UV LIGHT, FLUORESCENT LIGHT AND INCANDESCENT LIGHT) makes a lettuce plant grow the fastest over a time period of 3 weeks and what would be your variables( independent, dependen...
view the full question and answer

Queen Palm Fertilization in Arizona
March 06, 2012 - I placed standard Miracle Grow in a root feeder device and inserted into the ground around all of my Queen Palms. Why have they taken a turn for the worse (furled tips on all new branches) Can you ov...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native 'Glacier Blues' from Charlton MA
March 24, 2012 - Do you have to prune or cut down Glacier Blues in the garden? My plants look brown and wilted.
view the full question and answer

Wound from non-native date palm thorn Naples FL
November 12, 2012 - Was trimming my pygmy date palm when a frond fell and a thorn pierced my rubber gloves and stuck me in the web of skin between my thumb and forefinger. Did not see a broken thorn but area where struc...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center